by LORRAINE ELLIOT
Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” when he was reading his premature obituary.
The same could be said about cupcakes. Ever since Carrie Bradshaw sat on a bench outside Magnolia Cupcakes with her friend Miranda, we all fell in love with this small domed beauty.
I remember when they used to be just fairy cakes or butterfly cakes, simply iced, perhaps some sprinkles on them. Now they’re little works of art and I must admit that I’m as big an enthusiast on cupcakes as anyone.
I love the fact that they’re relatively simple to decorate. A whole cake is a vast canvas on which to decorate and for a non-artist like me, it can be daunting – but a cupcake is small and a relatively easier thing to pretty-up.
I feel a bit protective of the lil’ cupcake. After all, things like Whoopie Pies have been touted as the newest thing to take over the cupcake, by the New York Times no less. For the non-foodies, Whoopie pies are something like a dense cake wedged together with marshmallow.
They’re not bad but the Whoopie Pie was nowhere near as exciting as a cupcake. Macarons are everywhere in their multitude of rainbow and pastel colours but they’re like a diva – temperamental and difficult to make.
For my last installment of the Dilmah posts for Mamamia, I decided to share a recipe that combines cupcakes and tea together as that’s what the Dilmah Real High Tea challenge is all about combining tea in a high tea recipe. It’s an earl grey cupcake – decorations optional.
You can ice these simply with a mixture of icing sugar and earl grey tea or you can go all Martha Stewart and decorate these with flowers. The best tea to use is your favourite Dilmah blend and better still if it has a lovely fragrance to it. You can also use fruit teas but earl grey is a favourite of mine and adding it into the cupcake really infuses it with the flavour of the tea.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed these posts as much as I have being here on the wonderful Mamamia site thanks to the wonderful people at Dilmah! Thank you so much for having me and for making me feel so welcome. Your lovely comments were like honey in my tea
And by all means go ahead and let your inner cook loose and join the Dilmah Real High Tea challenge!
Earl Grey cupcakes
- 1 cup almond or hazelnut meal (ground)
- 3/4 cup self raising flour sifted
- 1 3/4 cups icing sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Earl Grey leaves (or your favourite tea)
- 125g butter
- 5 egg whites, softly whipped
- 1 batch of icing (buttercream or royal icing)
- Violet food colouring gel
- Green food colouring gel
- White fondant
1. Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan forced. Line cupcake tray with purple cupcake liners
2. Combine the almond or hazelnut meal, flour, icing sugar, orange rind and tea leaves in a bowl
3. Melt butter until light golden in colour and cool slightly.
4. Pour cooled butter in flour mixture along with softly whipped egg whites and stir until fully combined
5. Pour mixture in a measuring jug and then pour into cupcake liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
6. Cool and then spread with icing of your choice (buttercream, white fondant or royal icing, I just had some royal icing in the fridge).
7. For flowers (can be made ahead) colour two lots of fondant with violet, one darker than the other. The darker fondant petals will be used on the outside. Roll lighter violet fondant into balls and then between two sheets or cellophane or baking paper, press soup spoon so that you get a roughly round shape. Do the same with the darker violet fondant. With lighter fondant, roll up circle to start rose, then roll another circle around that. Then take one darker fondant circle and roll that around the bud and then take two more darker circles to finish.
Colour fondant green. Cut leaves out using teardrop of leaf shaped cutter and veiner or you can draw the veins on carefully using a knife.
8. Position flowers and leaves on royal icing before it sets and leave to dry for 2 hours.
Join Lorraine as she discovers the secrets to the perfect High Tea. Here’s Episode 3: High Tea Time.
To find out how to win a luxury trip to Sri Lanka visit Dilmah’s Real High Tea Challenge.
Lorraine Elliott is the founder and editor of the food and travel blog Not Quite Nigella. She started the blog in September 2007 and blogs full time.
So tell me Dear Mamamia Reader, do you think the humble cupcakes time has passed? What do you think will take over in popularity?