Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Earl Grey Cupcakes

I came across a beautifully illustrated cupcake recipe book (RM35.80) last week at MPH Subang Parade. This British publication contains recipes from an actual bakery in London known as the Primrose Bakery and they specialise in cupcakes primarily. It’s good to know that the recipes are tried and tested, plus the simple language and gorgeous pictures accompanying each and every recipe makes it a breeze to follow.

A few recipes caught my eye and I’ve shortlisted my “must try” list; these are the few I seriously plan to test out ...
  1. Earl Grey Cupcakes (this is the first recipe I’ve tried)
  2. Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes (using fresh strawberries)
  3. Raspberry Cupcakes (using raspberry jam)
I think there are over 20 types of cupcakes here with an equally wide assortment of icing, so if you mix and match the various cakes with different icing, you’re in business!
Thankfully for the long Raya (Eid) holidays, I found time to test this out and share it here ... presenting the recipe for Primrose Bakery's Earl Grey cuppas....

Here’s the (simplified*) recipe as per the book, comments in brackets.
  1. 125ml milk
  2. 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  3. 110g unsalted butter ( I use SCS salted, it’s fine as well, make sure it’s soft, at room temperature)
  4. 225g granulated sugar (you may drop to 210g as I found it rather sweet, especially with the icing)
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 125g self-rising flour, sifted
  7. 120g plain flour, sifted
    * not word for word
Ingredients for lilac icing:
  1. 110g unsalted butter ( I think regular salted butter offsets the sweetness)
  2. 60ml milk (room temperature)
  3. 500g icing sugar, sifted
  4. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (get the real stuff, not just the fake essence!)
  5. I can’t find lilac food colouring so I combined pink and blue food colouring; one tiny drop at a time, these stuff are heavy.
  6. Word of caution, this icing recipe makes ALOT of icing, probably enough for 2 batches of cupcakes, so half it accordingly or refrigerate the extra for another batch of cuppas.

Method, in Shorty's own words:
  1. Preheat oven to 160 C (settings should be top and bottom with fan) or 180 C (without fan). I find it more even with the fan on.
  2. Heat milk in a saucepan till boiling, then pour over the 4 teabags, let it infuse for 15 to 30 mins.
  3. Mix the sugar and butter for 3 to 5 mins till smooth and even. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing in between.
  4. Sift and combine flours separately, then add them to the egg+butter mix in batches.
  5. Pour in part of the milk infused with tea, alternating with the flour. The final mixture would have a rather liquid / soft consistency.
  6. Spoon them into paper cups, about two-thirds full.
  7. Bake for about 20 to 25 mins, depending on your oven, it takes about 22 mins in my Fagor for a 12–hole cupcake pan.
  8. Insert a toothpick into the centre of one of the cupcakes to see if they are done. If it comes out clean, it’s done!
  9. Remove pan from oven, let cakes sit in pan for 10 mins and then remove so they can cool on a wire rack.
  10. Once cakes are completely cooled, ice with the icing. Decorate with sprinkles of granulated sugar or purple sugar flowers. I decided to use white chocolate sprinkles. I thought the white looked so delicate on the pastel lilac., anyway it's too much effort to look for purple flowers, unless there's a special occassion.

Look, this recipe makes the cakes nicely brown and evenly raised. I hate it when cupcakes rise lop-sided!
Below; pastel lilac icing with white choc sprinkles.

Shortcake’s verdict?
These cakes are amazingly easy to make, just ensure you have quality teabags and plain milk on hand. The texture is very soft , melts in your mouth and the flavor is very delicate, like milky tea with a hint of bergamot. Perfect for those with a sensitive and well-developed palate, and tea lovers of course. Hubby thinks my ‘lilac’ icing looks like ‘grey’, how ironic.

Shorty’s loving them tea-cuppas!


beetrice said...

hmmm...in the pic it looks a bit blue... :D but looks scrummy!! bring bring lemme try...

Shortcake said...

Yeah, it looks blue-grey from some angles! Haha. Hey, drop by for lunch tmrw and I'll bring one for u :)

Beauci said...

Haven't you just forget out the 500g icing sugar from the ingredients list of the icing? Butter with milk and vanilla won't work...

Shortcake said...

Thanks Beauci! How silly of me! OK, I've amended the post.