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Authenticity: Lady Grey and Earl Grey Cupcakes

The idea for these cupcakes came from the inspiration of the friend that I mentioned in Wednesday’s post – she loves earl grey and lady grey tea.  We had a great chat on Wednesday about what it is like trying to bring out the creativity in a community when you are an outsider. One of the things that I most respect about her is that she has authenticity in that situation – she doesn’t try to hide her differences and her talents and even manages to take a lot of creative risks in community work by using her ‘outsider advantage’ to ask a lot of questions and challenge certain assumptions. I also love the fact that she asks for lady grey tea no matter how weird that is seen as being in the neighbourhood cafe. I’m inspired by her attitude because I’m always tempted to want to blend in with whatever group I’m working with. Which means that I often miss out on bringing my different perspectives and talents to that group because I’m afraid of being mocked for being odd or trying too hard.  Which in the end is a pretty inauthentic way of living out any kind of creative talent. So, here’s to drinking lady grey and generously sharing your talents and yourself in difficult situations. I hope to do more of both.

I really loved these cupcakes, and I was surprised at how well the flavours of the tea came through in the cupcake, particularly with the lady grey. The citrus notes are present and delicate,  making for quite an unusual and light cupcake flavour. I also love the way the tea leaves are flecked through the cake. I made two icings – a lemon icing to be paired with the earl grey and an orange icing for the lady grey. Both worked well, but I think I will make lemon icing for both next time.

Recipe after the jump..

Earl and Lady Grey Cupcakes

From Patent and the Pantry

For the cupcakes

113g soya spread

200g sugar

2 eggs

187g flour

2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

120ml lactose free milk

2 teabags earl grey or lady grey tea

1)   Preheat the oven to 180C, 160C fan.

2)   Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.

3)   Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.

4)   In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Rip open the teabags and add the contents to the dry mixture. Whisk together.

5)   Add a third of the dry mix to the batter and mix until incorporated. Then add half of the milk and mix. Continue, alternating the dry mix and milk until the batter is just combined.

6)   Fill cupcake liners two-thirds full.

7)   Bake for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch.

8)   Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Lemon or Orange Buttercream

85g soya spread

175g icing sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

for orange icing, replace the lemon juice with half a teaspoon of orange essence.

Beat together all ingredients until well incorporated and creamy. If the buttercream is too runny add more icing sugar.

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