Tea cupcakes- Earl Grey

I almost feel that this post should be categorised under ‘ice’ as well as ‘icing’ as if there’s one thing that gets me through research it’s definitely tea. So what better way to enjoy tea than in cake form?P1070781

These use a standard sponge cake recipe and buttercream frosting. However, the difficulty is getting the Earl Grey flavouring to come through. I find it’s better to use tea leaves rather than bags and also to add the Earl Grey to the icing too.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

(for the cake)
3 tea spoons Earl Grey tea leaves
3 table spoons boiling water
150g butter
150g sugar
200g self raising flour
1 tea spoon baking powder
3 eggs

(for the icing)
500g icing sugar
200g butter
1 tea spoon Earl Grey tea leaves
1/2 table spoon boiling water
1/2 table spoon whole milk

1. Brew the tea leaves in the boiling water for a good 10 minutes. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C, gas mark 4.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar, and mix in the eggs.
3. Strain the tea leaves from the water and add the water to the mixture.
4. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
5. Two thirds fill cupcake cases with mixture and cook for around 20 minutes, until the cakes begin to come away from the cakes and are springy.
6. Brew the tea leaves for the icing as before.
7. Mix together the butter and icing sugar for the icing. Strain the tea leaves from the water and add the water to the milk.
8. Add the milk mixture to the icing slowly until you have the desired consistency for decorating the cakes.
9. Enjoy with a cup of tea, naturally.

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Oreo cupcakes

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A very sweet chocolate lovers’ treat.

Makes 12 muffin sized cakes.

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 eggs
75g butter
150g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
150g self raising flour
30g cocoa powder*
12 Oreos (One 154g packet has enough for this and the icing)

Icing:

140g unsalted Lurpak** butter (softened)
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
2 Oreos
12 Mini Oreos for decoration

*If you’re making these for people who like Oreos chances are they’re chocolate nuts. If you’re like me and can’t cope with things being too rich cut out the cocoa powder and add a few crumbled Oreos. The bonus of this recipe is that ithas plenty of leftover mini Oreos so you have spare to do this. Or just to eat. All in the name of baking. Excellent.

**Other butters tend to make the icing look a little yellow, I’ve found Lurpak to work the best, although the effect is a little grey when crushes Oreos are added… swings and roundabouts. Photos here are Lurpak.

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14 Oreos in a packet, this recipe requires 14. Bonus. You get mini ones left over to eat, don’t worry.

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Prepare your baking tray by placing a single oreo in each muffin case (use muffin cases rather than fairy cake cases or they will have no room for cake!). Morrisons currently sell handy brown muffic cases, perfect.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together, lightly beat the eggs separately and then stir in gradually with the vanilla essence.

3. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together and fold in.

4. Place about 1/1.5 dessert spoon fulls of mixture into each case and bake for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them for the last 5 they catch very easily. You can stick a skewer/ flat bladed knife in the top to check if they’re done- it will come out dry if they are and you will ice over the hole left!

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12 pieces of chocolatey goodness. Don’t be tempted to just finish here and eat.

5.For the icing crush the Oreos to begin with. If you want to pipe your icing I would strongly recommend using a blender, any pieces of biscuit not small enough will get stuck in the piping nozzle and destroy any attempt at beautiful piping. Trust me I’ve been there. There were tears.

6. Beat the butter until soft and stir in half of the icing sugar, beat until smooth then repeat for the rest of the icing sugar. This should help prevent the icing sugar clouding up and going everywhere.

7. Add milk gradually until you have the texture you want- too soft and it won’t hold its shape when piped.

8. Mix in the crushed Oreos until you have the colour you would like.

9. Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes once they are cooled.

10. Top each cake with a mini Oreo. Hide any piping mistakes at the same time.

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The surprise cookie is the best part- people will be too polite to point out that your cakes feel rock hard before they realise why!

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Mini Oreos disguise a whole multitude of piping mistakes.