Sunday, January 27, 2013

First Post After a Long Absence

I'm finally back! I've dusted the cobwebs off my wooden spoon and I'm ready to bake again. I must apologise for the long absence and the lack of posting, unfortunately due to medical issues I have spent the past few months in and out of hospital and on bed-rest. I am one of the few people in Ireland than suffers from Lupus (SLE), an atoimmune disorder. Without going into gory details I picked up an infection without realising it at some stage last Autumn which built and built without my knowing until my body couldn't handle it anymore. The end result was weeks of hospital, needles, endless tests and feeling pretty rotten. I lost most of the muscle mass in my arms, legs and back which I'm only beginning to regain, although I'm pretty sure beating butter and sugar will give me back my glorious guns...or at least my right one!

So, the recipe. I decided to do something completely different and make Earl Grey tea and lemon cupcakes as a thank you gift for close family friends who looked after me very well during my illness. I've tasted them before and I love the light flavour that the tea gives the sponge and the lemon adds a brightness that I think is the perfect complement. The end result is a fresh tasting cupcake, reminiscent of summer on these rainy wintry days, that goes perfectly with a cup of tea. I'm using a version of the Hummingbird Bakery recipe that I've modified slightly

Earl Grey & Lemon Cupcakes
Makes 12
  • 3 Earl Grey teabags
  • 1tbsp freshly boiled water
  • 80g butter, soft
  • 2 eggs
  • 280g white caster sugar 
  • 240g plain flour
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 200mls milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
Add the water to the teabags and brew for 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 185C, line a muffin tray with paper liners

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time mixing well, and lemon zest
In another bowl mix flour and baking powder
Add the brewed tea to the milk and mix
Alternate adding flour mix and milk to the butter mixture and combine
Divide evenly between the holes in the tin
Bake for 17-20 minutes

Lemon Glaze
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 5tbsp icing sugar
Combine the juice and sugar
Add more sugar if the mix is too runny
(It should run off a spoon slowly but be slightly transluscent)

You can omit the zest from the glaze to make the lemon less intense or leave the zest but make it up with water rather than juice. This will change the flavour slightly but some people prefer doing it this way.

Enjoy! :)

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