Well it’s been a while – I was traveling eor work and then playing catch up and that left precious little time for baking. Last week a made a Chocolate Chai cupcake from the Alice’s Tea Cup Cookbook. Alice’s is one of my favorite restaurants of all time and if you’re ever in NYC you should give it a try – especially for brunch. Given that the recipe came from a cookbook and isn’t available anywhere online I decided not to post on it. The cookbook is well worth the purchase if only for the pumpkin scone recipe. My rendition of the chai cupcakes didn’t really turn out that well – I left them in a tad too long and they were dry. I also used a chai I’m not 100% fond of which really just set me up to not like the cupcakes. So the lessons are: when baking with tea make sure you actually like the tea before putting it in a cupcake. If you don’t, you probably won’t like the cupcake 🙂
The upshot of my less than loved Chocolate Chai was a desire to take one of my favorite teas and turn it into a delicious cupcake. So I decided to rework the matcha cupcake recipe and substitute Lupicia’s Momo Oolong Super Grade for the matcha. Since the tea is a bit more delicate I didn’t think it would pair well with chocolate and I decided to use a vanilla cupcake and matcha frosting instead.
Notes on this recipe: I call for a spice grinder to create a “tea flour” from the tea leaves. I tried using a food processor on the chai cupcakes and it didn’t really work that well. I picked up a cheap spice grinder from amazon – I’ve only used it once so far but it definitely did the job in 10 seconds. It’s your call on whether or not to use one, but the finer the “flour” the better a consistency you’ll get.
Peach Oolong Cupcakes (makes ~44 mini cupcakes)
- 3/4 cups self-rising flour
- 5/8 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons ground peach oolong tea “flour”
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a small bowl, add the flours and tea powder; whisk to combine; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the sugar gradually and beat for 3 minutes or until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients in two parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla.
- With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overmix.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes
- Remove cakes from the tins and cool on a wire rack before icing.
Per my useual tastes it’s a cream cheese frosting – changed from the original buttercream
- 4oz butter
- 8oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 heaping tablespoons matcha (I used Lupicia’s)
- Cream the butter and cream cheese- it’s best if they’re a bit warmer than straight out of the fridge but I’ve found that if you beat them enough before adding any other ingredients you can get away with cold butter and cream cheese.
- Add 1 cup of sugar and more to taste in half cup increments
- Add vanilla and matcha powder
- Add more sugar and/or matcha to taste
- There is a bit of graininess to the cupcakes – because tea flour isn’t as fine as real flour. Grind more or less and sift if that will bother you.
- These cakes seem to peel away from my liners when left in the pan after coming out of the oven for too long – pull them out ASAP to prevent this (I use two toothpicks as tools to pull the mini cupcakes out)