The past few days have very much been all about bread, but I suppose I'll backlog about those later - I decided to make my first "real" entry concerning baking right now because a friend asked me how I made these, and because it's fairly easy, I thought it'd also work for a quick blog post.
Let me start off by saying I know little to nothing about cupcakes. I've only worked with cupcakes maybe once or twice in the past. One of those times, I failed because the tops managed to cave in and refused to give me peaks, and the other time, I decided to use cake mix just to be on the safe side. Yeah, those looked good, but they tasted like cardboard. Knowing this, it's safe to assume that I like to try avoiding cupcakes unless I'm really in the mood for them. I did a good job avoiding them. Partially because I don't like store-bought ones since they throw so much frosting on the top.
And then I woke up this morning, craving cupcakes.
So here it is in all its...close-up glory. My little earl grey tea cupcake. To be honest, I was very satisfied with the taste, as well as that neat little bit of crunch that the top had. I fancy a small bit of that crunch on my cupcakes, since most of the cupcakes I got in the past already have a soggy and wet top from all the frosting that's slapped on top of it. (Can you tell I'm not fond of frosting?)
The recipe I chose was taken from this blog, though I made a little bit of my own changes just because I felt particularly ~adventurous~ today. But not really. They're minor changes, so feel free to just stick with the original instructions as opposed to my somewhat amateur methods! Anyway, the instructions/recipe (with a minor tweak and some confusing sidenotes) are as follows:
- 1 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar*
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbs. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 2 tbsp. of loose Earl Grey tea leaves.**
* - I used 2/3 cup sugar, but the original recipe says 1 cup of sugar. My sweet tooth can't take much, and I found that the 2/3 was just the right amount of sweetness for me, so just experiment with this one!
** - I just used two teabags. I like earl grey tea, and I really wanted to taste it in my cupcake. Don't judge me!
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Fill a cupcake pan with liners.
- Beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that they are incorporated thoroughly.
- In a bowl, combine the rest of the dry ingredients, including the tea leaves.
- Add half of the dry mixture.
- Add the milk then the remaining flour, stir until combined.
- Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, rotating halfway to ensure even baking.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
Since I used two teabags, I decided to cut one of the teabags and pour the loose earl grey leaves into the dry mixture, and the other one, I decided to steep in my milk which I had microwaved beforehand. I wasn't sure how strong the flavor would come out if I had just dumped the unsteeped tea bags into the dry mixture, so I was just experimenting. I wish I knew what I was doing in the kitchen sometimes!
Either way, I put my (now) milktea to the side as I beat together my wet ingredients in one bowl, and combined my dry ingredients in another bowl. Around step 7, I poured the milktea, as well as the tea leaves into the cupcake batter. In summary: everything just gets thrown in eventually, I just decided to be difficult and steep half my tea in the milk first.
I skimped out on the amount of batter I put in my liners. Which is why they kind of look flat, maybe. I'm actually not sure. Sometimes cupcakes look flat, maybe? I'm no expert in cupcakes. It's really not my comfort zone at all. Regardless, my second batch had cute, round peaks, but my family decided to devour those before I had the opportunity to take pictures of them.
I'm very happy with the flavor though! These had such a nice earl grey flavor to them, and it wasn't like "teehee, it's a subtle hint of earl grey," it was like, "woahhh, i'm definitely in your face and all over your taste buds," and I liked that. They were pretty moist and very soft too, two very important features that I had missed because I hadn't had cupcakes in a looooong time. Either way, it's worth trying out if you're a fan of earl grey tea. And cupcakes.