Thursday, 5 April 2012

Cupcake Fascination

What was I to do?  I had these gorgeous new polka-dot baking cups sitting on my kitchen benchtop and lovely market-bought Raspberry and Pear Conserve looking at me every time I opened the fridge.  It certainly didn't take long for me to pull together a recipe idea.  I think you will agree that it proved a most fitting choice: Earl Grey Cupcakes with a Raspberry and Pear icing.  The result was a cluster of dainty, feminine cupcakes which I'm sure will prove a hit with the boys when my husband opens his lunchbox today at work! 
The Earl Grey flavours the light cakes with beautiful hints of citrus and bergamont which are not at all overpowering but smell and taste devine.  I like to think of the sweetness hit that the frosting provides as the sugar cube sitting on your saucer waiting to sweeten your tea.  Morning or afternoon tea will be made that much more of a treat with these little lovelies.  They look absolutely adorable and yet are just so easy and quick.

Earl Grey Cupcakes
3 tsp loose leaf Earl Grey
a good dash of boiling water (1/4 cup)
1/3 cup full cream milk
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cups S. R. Flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare your baking cups on a tray.  In a jug, pour boiling water over the tea leaves.  Leave to steep for 2-3 minutes before adding your milk - just like making a jumbo cup of tea!  Put all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.  Once combined, add tea and beat mixture until smooth and light in colour.  Spoon batter into baking cups, only fill to halfway to allow for a rise.  Place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Cupcakes will be golden and fragrant, and a skewer should come out clean.
Raspberry and Pear Frosting
2 tbsp Raspberry and Pear Conserve (substitute as you like)
1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
1 - 2 tbsp milk

Warm jam in the microwave to thin. Mix into the icing sugar and use milk to thin to the preferred consistency. Pipe frosting onto cakes.
Hints:  If you prefer a glaze to a frosting, use a little more milk before drizzling over cakes.  You can use whatever jam or conserve you like.  Marmalade works really well and you can substitute milk for orange juice.

Time for a cup of tea, I think!

F. x

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