September 27, 2009

Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

If a cupcake were ever sophisticated, this would be it.

I bet this seems weird to some people- sure, you're familiar with tea and cake but tea in cake? But let's start at the beginning, shall we...

I got the idea for this ingenious mix of flavors at least a year ago from eat me delicious but my recipe inspiration came from another source. Right when I read the heading, "Earl Grey White Chocolate," I knew these were going to be something special (don't ask me why it took me so long to actually make them).

As usual I made a number of my own changes, the biggest of which was upping the amount of tea used. I read many different recipes and almost all of them said something along the lines of "the earl grey flavor was very subtle, next time I might try adding more tea." Being the lover of earl grey tea (and bergamot along with its debatable benefits) that I am, I didn't want these cupcakes to be subtle; I wanted them to be unmistakeably earl grey, and I think they were thanks to extra tea leaves in the batter coupled with tea infused milk.

These cupcakes came out perfectly, really, I have no complaints (is this a first?). The flavor was as strong as I wanted it to be, however, since earl grey is by nature a delicate flavor, it was by no means overpowering. The cake itself was light, tender, and subtly sweet, which provided a nice compliment to the more decadent frosting.

All I have left to say is that these are my kind of cupcake, and if you haven't already gotten the message: make them!

Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes

I halved the recipe to make 12 cupcakes (below is the halved version, hence the awkward 1 3/8 cup flour)
Adapted from Vanilla Garlic

1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 bags double bergamot early grey tea [I used the Stash Tea brand]

Beat the butter until soft for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat for 30 seconds between each.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Then add 2 bags of the tea (bags ripped open and contents emptied) into bowl and whisk until combined.

Measure out milk and heat in the microwave until just boiling (1- 2 minutes on high). Place the remaining 2 tea bags into the piping hot milk and let steep for at least 5 minutes. when finished make sure to squeeze the tea bags to release any remaining milk. Next add the vanilla extract to the milk tea and stir.

Mix in the flour mixture and the milk mixture into the egg/butter/ sugar mixture, alternating between the two and ending with the flour. Scoop the batter into cupcake papers about 3/4 full.

Bake for 18- 22 minutes* at 350F until a toothpick comes out clean.

the original recipe had a bake time of 22- 25 minutes but mine were ready (just golden on top) around the 19 minute mark.

White Chocolate Frosting
Although this frosting was good, I wish I could have tasted the white chocolate a bit more. Next time I might try skipping the milk altogether and lessening the sugar to 1 1/4 cups; this will also help if you like a thicker frosting. Also, the higher quality the white chocolate you use, the better the frosting will taste. I've found Lindt to be a good option for both affordability and quality.
From Diana's Desserts

4 1/2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick/3 oz./85g) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

Sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Add the butter and salt and beat until smooth. Stir in the cooled white chocolate. Refrigerate until firm enough to frost the cupcakes, about 30 minutes.


kshen said...

omg they look so yummy.

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo delicious! I love that you used both tea leaves and milk that had tea steeped in it.