I may be steadfastly clawing my way back onto the healthy-eating wagon but in just the last couple of weeks, I’ve developed the most horrendous sweet tooth known to man. My sneaky way around this intrusion into my angelic lifestyle *cough* is to fatten everyone else up instead. Yes, I have become the ultimate feeder.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not so saintly that I don’t taste my creations but the trick is to have one and then GET THEM THE HELL OUT OF THE FLAT. It’s the only way I can do it, heaven forbid I still have cake in the house come night-time. You can be sure that it wouldn’t still be there the next morning.
My latest dabble has been with cupcakes (again). Leila has decided on the theme that she wants for her fourth birthday party in May (she’s a planner), and that theme is “ballerina”. She wants ballerina cupcakes, which will thankfully save me a whole lot of stress because anything has got to be easier than last year’s “steam engine cake”.
And so with my raging sweet tooth in hand, I headed into the kitchen to reacquaint myself with a bit o’ cupcake nurturing. The actual baking, I can do with my eyes closed… the icing? Well, to be honest, I usually trowel it on with a spatula and I’m done. I don’t enjoy the faffy bits in baking… which is probably why I’ve always preferred home-style cooking over anything more delicate.
These Earl Grey Tea cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery book caught my eye mostly because I’ve discovered a new-found love for Earl Grey. I’ve been a tea-drinker for about 10-years, I used to hate it as a teenager and it was only through meeting my husband (ultimate tea drinker) that I developed a taste for it. While he’s a simple PG Tips man, I have enjoyed dabbling in loose leafs and the clean-tasting, subtle Earl Grey has become a real pleasure.
I won’t print the recipe here for fear of getting my hands slapped, so instead, I shall link you to the lovely Laura Ashley website who are hosting a copy of the Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes recipe with permission of Hummingbird Bakery. Incase you’re curious, it’s from their Cake Days book… the sweet-toothed girl’s bible.
The only change I made to the original recipe was to use loose leaf tea instead of teabags, which I steeped in a cup with a tea infuser.
You may have noticed that my icing didn’t go to plan. I got a phonecall mid-bake and when I returned to the kitchen, my scales had reset themselves! I don’t think I put quite enough icing sugar into the mix but seeing as these were going to my Mum and Dad, I knew they wouldn’t mind my collapsed swirls!
Actually, if anyone has a failproof frosting recipe, I’m all ears… I’m not a huge fan of the HB one (which generally makes too much for 12 cupcakes).
Either way, the flavour of the cake is beautiful with just a hint of bergamot to lift the sponge, it’s very spring-like and delicate without being perfume-y.
Are you planning on baking this weekend? How would you make “ballerina” cupcakes? Throw all your cupcake/icing tips at me, I’m gonna need them!