Monday, 17 September 2012

Earl Grey Cupcakes

So I'm a massive fan of Downton Abbey, like a huge fan. Have all the box sets, watched all the episodes a dozen times, and for the past couple of weeks I was getting way too excited every time I saw an advert for the third season. Close to squealing. Let's face it, we were all waiting to see if Matthew and Mary would finally get married.

So last night I settled down with a cup of tea, thrilled that I was finally finally about to watch what I had been waiting months for. And god did it deliver, I was laughing, nearly crying, and just constantly smiling that all of my favourite characters were back on TV.

So to celebrate, today I decided to make some Earl Grey cupcakes, thinking they were suitably posh enough for Downton. 
This weekend I also found something I have been lusting after for a long time: a cupcake machine. Cupcakes ready in nearly 10 minutes, what's not to love about it!

As you can see, it cooks six cupcakes at a time, but what you can't tell is that they produce smaller cakes than you normally get/make, even though the normal size paper cases do fit in the holes. But that also means you can make more cupcakes. Normal cupcake recipes make 12 cupcakes, but I managed to squeeze out 16.

 I normally like to use buttercream for the topping, but I didn't have enough butter, so I decided to make a simple glace icing instead (purely because I couldn't be bothered to make royal icing).

Obviously there are loads of recipes for Earl Grey cupcakes. I know of a really nice recipe here:
I love this blog, there are so many cake recipes, I just want to try them all.

However, today I used a different recipe, which used less butter, and more milk.
(Still trying to be a bit healthier...)

3 Earl Grey teabags 
80g unsalted butter
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
200ml milk
2 eggs

(Obviously I didn't use the oven today, as I had to try out my new toy)
Heat up the milk, without boiling it, and then add the tea bags. Leave it to cool for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven  to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line the cupcake tin with paper cases.
Beat the butter and sugar together, and then add the flour, baking powder and salt. The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs. 
In a separate bowl, mix the milk and eggs together, and then add to the dry mixture. Mix thoroughly.
The mixture may be a bit wet, but it will still bake fine. Put the mixture into the paper cases, and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Once cooked, leave to cool on a wire rack.

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the glace icing.
I can't remember the exact measurements I used, but it was around 250g of icing sugar and about 3-4 tbsp of water.
Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, and add the water. Mix until the icing is thick, and stick to the back of a spoon. If it's too watery, add more icing sugar; too thick, add more water.
Add some food colouring to the desired colour.

Once the cakes are cool, just spoon some of the glace icing onto the cakes, until it completely covers the top. If they're left for about 10 minutes, the icing hardens, so that it's less messy to eat.

And that's it. Simple :)

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