Sunday, March 11, 2007

Curiouser and Curiouser

Earl Grey Cupcakes, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

I spent a few hours Friday afternoon laying in my bed, computer on my lap. It was so nice to just veg out. Naturally my mind wandered to the Wonderland Party. I had a genious thought (or at least I thought).

I was planning on doing flower cupcakes for the party, but then I had a thought on Friday that thit me like a train. Tea cupcakes, like Earl Grey and Jasmine tea cupcakes. Perfect for a Mad Tea Party, right? Sure, if I could execute it properly. I tried both a Earl Grey Simple Syrup and simply infusing it with the tea leaf. Neither was successful.

Since the cake failed on the earl grey flavor I wanted to try to make Earl Grey frosting. I strained the simple syrup and added it to a cream cheese frosting base. Still-no-flavor. Aahhh. So I got desperate and resorted to cooking leaves and a mixture of orange juice and water until the leaves were moist and soft (I didn't want crunchy tea leaves in the frosting, yuck).

Alas, nothing worked, not simple syrup, not tea leaves, nothing. I don't know where to go from here. There aren't really any recipes online that I can find to help guide me. I'll have to keep researching and hope that I can come up with something in the next few weeks because I am really loving the idea.

Here is the recipe.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare cupcake tins as directed as directed in the recipe you are following.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. In a separate, larger bowl, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
5. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla.
6. To the butter mixture, add about one quarter of the flour mixture and mix well. Add about one quarter of the milk mixture and mix well. Continue alternating the flour mixture and milk mixture, beating after each addition until smooth.
7. Pour the batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.
8. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn the cupcakes out of the tins and onto a rack to finish cooling completely.