Monday, 11 January 2016

Keep calm and eat cup cake!

31st December is not only the last day of the year, but also my husband and my anniversary.   One of the great things about moving to London is that the kitchen is so much bigger than the one I had in Hong Kong.  And it feels so much happier to bake with a proper oven (and one less excuse for cake failure)

I made this little cup cake to celebrate our love growing 1 year older.  Cup cakes are so fun to make, and then there are all the different ideas to create the topping.  This time, I am pairing them with macaron.  We first got together in Paris, that is why I opt for a French touch with our anniversary treat.

The earl grey tea flavour is added by using very strong earl tea and to give it a 'earl grey look', I add the tea from a tea bag to the flour, if you do not have tea bags, you can just grind the tea leave to a very very fine size - you do not want to be eating 'tea leaves'.  As for the amount of sugar, I always reduce it by at least 1/4 cup from the recipes I found online - as long as you are not taking away sugar from making stiff egg white, it should work fine.

Here is the recipe, please enjoy!

Earl Grey Cupcake (to make 6 pcs)

1 cup sifted all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1/4 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
85g unsalted butter, chilled in room temperature, but not melt
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup milk
1 earl grey tea bag
2 tbsp of earl grey tea (put 2 tea bags in 1/2 cup boiling water to make it super strong)

Raspberry butter cream

100g softed unsalted butter (not melt!)
2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp raspberry jam
2 drops of pink gel food colouring (optional)

Preheat oven at 176*C

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and the earl grey tea bag.

In a separate bowl, cream butter with sugar until smooth with a whisk.  After that, beat in the egg slowly - do not add all the egg in at a time, you need to slowly add so that the egg and butter can incorporate evenly.  When the egg and butter are evenly mixed, whisk in 2 tbsp of earl grey tea.

Now, you are ready to sift in the dry ingredient and add the milk.  Do it gradually and whisk after each addition - do not rush!

Fill 6 already lined cupcake tins, about 3/4 full for each cupcake and bake for 20 mins.

When the cakes are in oven, we can start preparing the frosting!

Slowly whisk in sugar to the unsalted butter, when they are fully incorporated and the milk and raspberry jam - it should look smooth and creamy.

The raspberry jam should make the butter cream pinkish, but you may add a few drops of food colouring to bring out more colour.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, you can garnish with the butter cream as your liking.

Macaron (6 pcs)

50g egg white in room temperature (it is good to age the egg in room temperate for up to 72 hours)
30g caster sugar
75g almond meal
80g pure icing sugar
a handful of 'hundreds and thousands' sprinkles

Preheat oven at 160*C

Line a baking tray with baking paper, underneath it, place a paper with 12 x 2.5 cm diameter circles drawn as a guide to pipe macarons.

In a medium bowl, sift together almond meal and icing sugar - throw away the big lumps that could not go through the sieve.

In a large bowl, whisk egg white until frothy in medium speed.   While beating, add caster sugar one tbsp by one tbsp in medium high speed.  Whisk until the egg white is ALMOST peak, it should be stiff and glossy.

When the egg white is done, fold in almond mixture into the egg white, do not over fold - roughly about 50 folds would do.  The batch should leave a ribbon like trail.

While you let the mixture to rest for 10 mins, we can prepare the pipping bag.  Put the pipping bag in a glass and when the resting is done, just spoon the mixture into the pipping bag.

Pipe the macaron on the baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle with the 'hundreds and thousands' sprinkles.  Carefully remove the paper drawn with circles after piping.

Before you can put the macarons in the oven, let them rest again in room temperature - for a cold and dry British day, I let them rested for 45 mins.  Until it is not sticky when you touch it with your finger tip.

Right before putting them in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 140 degrees, and bake for 20 mins - or until you can lift up the macaron easily and not sticky.

When they are completely cool, pipe the butter cream in the centre and assemble the macarons.

Tears in my eyes when I saw the skirting around the base of the macaron!

Umm.. they raised a bit more than expected

Top it up with a little flag made with ribbon tying to a tooth pick


  1. You absolutely can be a stay at home wife :)

    1. HA HA - no, I need to start looking for a job soon :-p
      not proud to go shopping with husband's money!


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