Friday, January 01, 2010

foodie friday... a celebration: earl grey cupcakes!




the aim of life is to live,
and to live means to be aware,
joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
henry miller

the first day of a new year, a bright start to another decade! you've spent the night ringing in 2010 and spent the morning resting under your luxurious white duvet, recuperating from your evening festivities. perhaps you'll sink into a warm bath filled with rich lavender-scented bubbles and soak the afternoon away. or, perhaps you'll wrap up in a cashmere blanket, light tamarind-scented candles and write your reflections of the past year on the cloth-bound pages of your journal. or, perhaps a few of your girlfriends will stop by and sip on elegant flutes of bubbly. or, perhaps you'll spend a simple moment giggling with your little one as she twirls in the kitchen in her little ivory tutu. the first day of a new year is always the perfect time to be aware of the moment, to reflect on the days that have faded away and to dream of who you will be in the ones to come. the time is ripe to exhaust this moment and to pamper your soul. regardless of how you spent those special little moments today, earl grey cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting are the perfect celebration of reflection and tranquility. allow your home to be filled with the aromas of warm sugar and bergamot. these little cakes are moist and light, leaving sweet little tea-scented crumbs on your fingers. they go brilliantly with a chilled glass of champagne, or a hot mug of vanilla steamed milk. they are delicate and sophisticated, and are the perfect indulgence to welcome 2010 - happy new year!

earl grey cupcakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp loose leaves of earl grey tea
it's best to use a good quality loose leaf tea for these cakes, and you can use one that has touch of vanilla as well. if you don't have loose leaf tea on hand, you can open two teabags and use the tea inside.
preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
warm the milk on the stove, but do not boil. add the vanilla and the tea leaves directly into the milk and allow them to steep. take the milk off of the heat to cool slightly.
beat the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy.
add each egg, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
sift dry ingredients together.
fold half of the dry mixture into the wet. add the milk (with the tea leaves) and the remainder of the dry ingredients. stir until until just combined and do not overmix. the mixture will be soft and light, and will be flecked with little black tea leaves.
fill a twelve-cup muffin pan with the mixture and bake for 20 minutes. the top should be golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake will come out clean. allow to cool completely.
for a vegan version: substitute the butter with 1/2 cup of non-dairy 'butter', the milk with 1/2 cup soy milk (or any other plant milk), and the eggs with 1 mashed banana.

lemon buttercream frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
beat the butter, and add sugar until light and fluffy. add lemon zest and juice and beat until smooth and creamy. spread over cooled cupcakes. garnish with a pinch of lemon zest or a sprig of thyme.
for a vegan version: substitute the butter with 1/2 cup of non-dairy 'butter'.

post and photographs by: robyn michelle-lee

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3 comments:

Caitlin said...

Awesooooooooome!!!!

DarlingCoquette said...

They look delish...can't wait to try them. Thanks so much for including a vegan alternative. :)

Lilith said...

I made these on Thursday and they were a huge hit and easy to make. Thanks so much for the recipe!