Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Earl & The Empress

I don't know whether it's the name that attracts me to these teas or the taste. Whatever it is you need to make time to enjoy these beauties  These days if I finish a cup of tea I'm doing well. In the past 18 months (between pregnancy and breastfeeding) I've been restricted to decaff and it's safe to say my taste buds have died a death. 

Now then. From the moment you announce that you've got a bun in the oven people fall over themselves with advice and warnings. The most common things we heard where:

1. NOTHING prepares you for having a baby. 

2. You'll wonder what you did with your time. 

3. Enjoy sleeping now because you won't for the next insert months/years depending on how well their little bundle slept. 

I'm not one for paying any attention to advice (I'd much rather learn from my mistakes despite being warned, some call this foolishness I call it knowing better...followed by 'you were so right') but in the months before Josh was born I tried to do things that I enjoy fearing I would never have the chance again. This included making cakes. Now friends I know that for some of you this is a regular, perhaps weekly pastime but we never have any eggs when I want to bake and when we do have eggs they are out of date. 

Which leads me nicely to my very sophisticated cupcakes (or wee buns if I'm being true to my roots). 

Earl Grey & Empress Grey Cupcakes (with lemon butter cream icing):

I find it hard to stray from Delia's basic all-in-one sponge recipe, it's the one mum and I used and it's the one my dear friend Abi sent me in a text when I forgot the ingredients:

110g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder
110g butter
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs

Earl Grey tea

Empress Grey tea
wee dash of milk

Pre-heat oven to 170 

Heat the milk in a saucepan or the micro wave. 

Separate into two cups and add the tea. (this lets the tea infuse before you add it to the cake mixture). You can then sieve the tea out if you wish but I left it in. If you are using loose leaf I recommend breaking up the bigger bits.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a big bowl from a height*

Add all other ingredients and mix really fast with a whisk or even faster with an electric whisk
Separate half the mixture into another bowl and add the Earl to one and the Empress to the other. 

Spoon the mixture into bun cases ( I used different coloured cases for the different flavours) and cook for 20-25 mins. 

We all know that really posh people have lemon with their earl grey so I made a lemon butter cream icing.

  • 45g butter
  • 270g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 15ml milk

When the wee buns have cooled plop, spread or pipe the icing on. 

*be sensible!

If you get the chance to make them enjoy! And if you enjoy them let me know!