As I mentioned in my last post, I have promised a batch of Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream for a friend and fellow team-member as part of a work challenge we’re involved in. She so wonderfully volunteered to assist with a Habitat for Humanity endeavour and I want to reward her accordingly.
It is win-win for me – because I get the challenge of stretching my baking repertoire a little and trying out a cupcake that I would never have thought of to try on my own.
Luckily for me, fellow blogger and fitness bestie zenbecca has paved the way for me, having recently made a batch of these for a cupcake auction. Having been down this road before, she had some words of wisdom to impart. The recipe I settled on was very close to hers and can be found here. The difference with zenbecca’s recipe is that she recommended steeping 5 tea bags and cutting a 6th open for the purpose of sprinkling the tea into the batter itself. I fully intend to do this myself. Another reason why zenbecca is a bestie is because she fully understands my love for Galen – and I secretly believe she harbours some love for him herself, but she’ll have to pry him out of my cold dead hands first – but I digress, she recommended Galen’s house brand of earl grey tea for this purpose.
First I had to infuse the milk for the recipe with the tea. I did this the day before and then put the milk back into the fridge overnight, sans tea bags. I doubt this affected the flavour in any way – but it sure saved me some time.
I’m not really a tea drinker. I wish I could get into it. I always have a cup of coffee in my hand, and I find it very soothing. I hear tea is soothing – but I just never seem to crave tea the way I crave coffee. Weird. My mom once said something about addiction that I find helpful, I’ll paraphrase it here to suit the post: ” You can’t get addicted to coffee, I drink coffee every day and I’m not addicted.”
Ok, so milk is infused, and the next morning I set out to make my cupcakes.
I just told you I don’t know anything about tea. It didn’t even occur to me that the earl grey cupcake is a delicate flavour – requiring a delicate buttercream on top. Well did I ever manage to screw this up. I made my favourite lemon-y buttercream – which, btw, is extremely lemon-y, and I piped buttercream onto every last one of them. I was on a roll, I did all 24 and they looked beautiful.
Then, it occurred to me, I should taste one. Mistake. The lemon-y-ness of the buttercream totally steals the show from the delicate earl grey-y-ness of the cake. Fool! How could I have done this? Worse? I can’t even re-do them. I’ve got nothing left to give on these cupcakes, and I’m also out of butter.
See those flecks of tea in the batter? Totally made all the difference in the world – way to go, zenbecca. You are so awesome.