Friday, July 22, 2011

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lavender Frosting

The one and only time I have gone to Bi-Rite Creamery was a day (the day) when there was no line. I took advantage and tasted as much as I could. They suggested I try the Earl Grey with the Lavender flavors because they complement each other well. I have been meaning to recreate the combination in a bite-sized baking form for quite some time now. This is my attempt. I'm not entirely satisfied (I think the flavors could be stronger), but they came out interesting. Tasters (Britt, Ryan, Meghan, Tina, Reid) all seemed pretty stoked on them, but I think there is room for improvement. (Side note: look at the adorable tiered serving plates Rael got me for my birthday!)

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk (I used 1 %, but next time I'll use whole milk)
6 Earl Grey tea bags

1/3 cup milk (again, I used 1% but should use whole)
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3 cups confectioners' sugar
food coloring (I gradually added I think 4 drops of red and 4 drops of blue)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.
Heat milk in small saucepan until barely simmering. Put 4 tea bags in milk to steep and set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
Combine flour, 2 remaining tea bags and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
Remove 4 tea bags from milk. Measure out 1/2 cup and stir into batter until smooth. Discard remaining milk.
Spoon batter into the muffin papers 2/3 full.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cupcakes are done when they spring back to the touch.
Let cool completely.
For frosting, bring milk and lavender just to a boil in a small saucepan.
Remove from heat, and let steep 10 minutes.
Strain, and discard almost all of lavender.
Cream butter until smooth.
Beat in sugar and 1/4 cup milk.
Add food coloring until desired shade. Frost immediately.