Wednesday, 21 May 2008

calming camomile cupcakes...perfect for a tea party!

so i recently saw a food blog event that seemed to tie in perfectly with my camomile tea project that i've been thinking about for a few days now. it's hosted by Skinny Gourmet and is all about tea. so if you're a big fan of the stuff then get over there and check out the event before it closes!

some time ago i discovered the most wonderful blend of tea by Twinings...camomile, honey and vanilla tea. this stuff is pure calmness in a cup and the smell of those three flavours together is enough to send you into a meditative state simply by inhaling the aroma.

then recently i managed to pick up some camomile chocolate...and i figured i'd like to incorporate it into the cupcake...a perfect garnish! so let's talk about the benefits of camomile...

Health benefits are:

1. Help induce sleep.
2. Calm nervous stomach and improve digestion.
3. Soothe skin irritations, including sunburn, heat rash and haemorrhoids.
4. Relieve toothache.
5. Improve bronchitis.
6. Help with bladder troubles.
7. Treat eye inflammation and infection
8. Heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease
9. Treat irritable bowel problems and various gastrointestinal complaints
10. Help regulate menstrual periods.
11. Reduce menstrual cramps.
12. Good for the kidneys and spleen health.
13. Help alleviate symptoms of the common cold.
14. Promote relaxation and alleviate stress.
15. Help to expel worms and other parasites.
16. Improve liver function and relieve jaundice.
17. Help prevent gangrene.
18. Relieve back pain.
19. Improve rheumatism.

so armed with two fabulous inspirations - tea and chocolate, i set to making my camomile cupcakes. i followed the recipe for the earl grey cupcakes that i made previously that began with a vanilla cupcake recipe and used camomile infused milk to incorporate the flavour of the tea. the only difference for this one is that i happened to have a burst camomile tea bag and i wanted to use those tea leaves for something. i had read in recipes before how you can just rip open the bags and use the tea leaves in the batter. well for ages, i thought this might be really weird, i figured the tea would stay all grainy and gritty in the cupcake and make for a nasty texture. oh, how wrong i was. the tea just kind of blended in to the cupcake and there was hardly any trace of it at all, instead just dark flecks of yellow were all that hinted that it was there. perfect! so this cupcake is almost a double camomile cupcake because it has camomile infused milk in it and camomile tea leaves. it made for a lovely rich strong flavour of the tea - which is exactly what i wanted.

i iced the cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream flavoured with a tablespoon of honey, and again the combination was perfect and just brought out those flavours in the cupcake. the whole cupcake was then garnished with a triangle of camomile chocolate. could you possible think of anything more relaxing than that?

my great taste-tester, my brother, immediately gobbled down three. he is a big fan of the tea and said the whole experience was like eating the tea in a cupcake. i did my usual one cupcake taste test and was sublime. mouthful after mouthful of absolute calm and serenity. i just loved it.


G said...

What a great idea! You are the cupcake queen in this household.

Unknown said...

thank u blog princess! just a humble tribute to the powerful healing properties of the lovely camomile flower...i like the idea of calming/healing cupcakes :)

Stef said...

I love all of your attention to detail in this cupcake. It sounds so perfectly calming and tasty.

Unknown said...

thanx stef - it really was a very calming experience all round...but especially the eating part!

Aimée said...

Really stunning! I would travel very far and pay a decent amount of money for one of these.Your brother is way lucky!!

Unknown said...

thanks aimee...maybe one day when i have my shop you might just be abe to do that ;)

Unknown said...

You always can come up with great ideas for cupcakes. You rock!

Unknown said...

thanks arfi...when it comes to cupcakes it just seems so easy to be inspired!

The Caked Crusader said...

Beautiful looking (and I bet tasting) cupcakes - so neat and pure looking!

Unknown said...

thanks caked crusader...yup i wanted these to look pure...camomile just has that effect on me maybe!

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

These cupcakes really do look lovely. They sound incredible. I can just imagine a calm washing over you as you sunk your teeth into that cupcake!

Unknown said...

hi nikki, yes...long live that wonderful sense of almost justifies making these every day!

Anonymous said...

That looks great Sinead! I love the one in the teacup :)

Honeyed Hashette said...

So cute! I love the sound of a relaxing cupcake. :)

Unknown said...

hi lorraine, ya me too! the one in the cup is my fav!

hi janna, thanx for stopping by and yes i love the thought of a relaxing cupcake too. there should definitely be more of them!

Mrs. Cupcake said...

I am really excited about these!!! I would love to try this... It is an excuse to have a "bedtime" cupcake hehe

Unknown said...

hi mrs. cupcake (great name!), i completely agree, i can't possibly think of anything better than a bedtime cupcake!

Evelin said...

I need a bedtime cupcake too!:)I'd hug you just for introducing this lovely combination of flavours, but your cupcake craetion is sublime!:)

tigerfish said...

Camomile, vanilla and honey - we can almost soak in a bath of these :)...and have a soothing cup of tea :)

Unknown said...

hi evelin...glad you lked really was like eating a little cup of calmness :)

hi tigerfish...yes it would be a sublime combination for a nice bath soak...but you'd definitely need the cupcakes to go along ;)