Thursday, 27 March 2008

afternoon tea cupcakes with earl grey, raspberry jam and lemon cream...yummy!

don't know about you...but i simply LOVE earl grey tea and have done for years. i just love the distinct flavour of it explained by wikipedia :

Earl Grey tea is a tea blend with a distinctive flavour and aroma derived from the addition of oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a fragrant citrus fruit.

i also thought i'd check out the benefits of drinking earl grey tea and found some interesting ones :

Key health benefits of Earl Grey

· Bergamot has been documented as a useful and healing fruit in 12th century Europe

· The Italians used bergamot for treating fever and intestinal worms

· Bergamot's main properties are as a disinfectant and an antidepressant

· The esters and alcohols present in bergamot reduce anxiety by calming the nervous system

· The active components in bergamot are antiseptic, germicidal as well as relaxing

· The catechin and fluoride content of black tea prevent tooth decay, while the antiseptic properties of bergamot can alleviate halitosis and oral infections

· Contains beneficial amounts of caffeine that helps you to think clearly

· The bergamot content fights flu, fevers and colds

so seeing as i'm such a fan the thought of earl grey infused cupcakes would naturally appeal to me. once i thought about how i would like to infuse the earl grey tea into the cupcakes, then i had to think about what i would like to go with the flavour...and that's when it struck me...afternoon tea cupcakes with all the elements of a good afternoon tea encompassed in the cupcake itself! and this is the afternoon tea cupcake consisting of an earl grey cake, raspberry jam filling and lemon buttercream icing! simply perfect!
i tried to use the middle bit to make the cupcakes more like butterfly cakes! this is an homage to my youth when i usually always had butterfly cakes for birthdays. somehow though, my butterfly wings seemed a tad more chunky than those of my youth (maybe due to the fact that i was being greedy and cut such a big cone out wanting to fill it up with lovely raspberry jam - that will teach me!)
i used my vanilla cupcake recipe which you can find here but infused the milk with the earl grey tea. i did this simply by warming up the milk, putting two earl grey tea bags into the milk and then leaving it aside for 10 minutes. two tea bags gave a subtle result, but next time i'd probably use three or four just because i love the flavour. then i made the recipe as written. the tea turned the batter a darker colour which i liked and i could smell the earl grey distinct aroma as they came out of the oven. this has been a great experiment for me because i think using this method, you can probably infuse the flavour of any of your favourite teas into a cupcake...the possibilities on this one are endless so i must get out there and buy some boxes of all those amazing tea flavours they now sell in supermarkets.
the rest was easy...leave them to cool, cut out your cone shape from the top of the cupcake, fill with a teaspoon of your favourite jam and top with lemon buttercream. don't forget to replace those wings!
lastly but most importantly...enjoy with a dainty little cup of your favourite tea. and so, at that, i'm off to stick the kettle on. earl grey anyone?


Anonymous said...

Oooh Earl Grey is my favourite tea! I also like Lady Grey as well. I picked up a recipe card for Earl Grey cupcakes ages ago but never made them but from the sounds of your post, they're definitely worth making!

Love the combo and the trivia too. I definitely feel the soothing properties when I have a cup :)

Swati said...

Thanks Airy Fairy for stopping by my blog and giving me the opportunity to discover your lovely blog.
Firstly I really like your name and also liked the fact that you are so experimental and enjoy doing what you like doing most!!
Lovely blog with plenty of ideas to decorate.


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Unknown said...

hi swati, thank you for your lovely comments...if my decorations ever get as quarter as nice as yours i'll be VERY happy!

Anonymous said...

These look lovely. I've got a friend who's almost insane for Earl Gray and I'm going to bake these for her the next time she comes to visit.

Anonymous said...

Your husband brought some of these into work and I got to try some. Very, very good! Two thumbs up!

Unknown said...

hey fearless kitchen, if your friend really likes earl grey you could probably add 3 or 4 bags to be infused into the milk rather than just 2 for a stronger flavour.

thanks to the 'anonymous' colleague of my husband for stopping by...i'm sure there will be many more cupcakes coming your way!

sorry lorraine for not replying to you, but yeah, i loved learning a little more about earl grey too. i pretty much drink it every day in place of regular tea so glad that there are some benefits! what was your recipe like? did it also infuse the tea? of did it tell you to rip open the bags and add the tea leaves straight in? i was worried about that option. i just couldn't imagine eating a lovely cupcake with bits of tea leaf in it. but maybe it's worth a try if there's a stronger flavour!

marae said...

These are so cute!!! I have wondered about using Earl Grey in recipes...can you really taste it?

Unknown said...

yes mara, you can definitely taste the earl grey. two tea bags infused in milk yields a subtle flavour. as i like the taste of earl grey, next time i bake these i would infuse 4 bags to get a stronger taste!

kitschen said...

WOW! I am so excited, I had the thought the try this out myself and lo and behold if you haven't already invented it! :) Can't wait to try these out!

Unknown said...

hi kitschen, let me know how they go for you if you decide to try them. and if you want a stronger taste of earl grey then infuse more tea bags! they're delicious :)