I love a brief. A friend was coming to visit the other day and requested some baked goods. When asked what he would prefer, he said “I like chocolate and butter.” Well, I know a few recipes that involve those!
However, I’ve made quite a few heavily chocolatey things recently and so decided not to go down that road this time. Thinking about my favourite ingredients, I settled on this cupcake recipe (another baked Frankenstein’s monster cobbled together from bits of existing recipes). I consume Earl Grey tea and marmalade by the bucketload, like some sort of caffeine-fuelled Paddington Bear, so what better than to combine them in baked form? Oh, and with the added bonus of some dark chocolate chips to make sure I was fulfilling the brief.
How it was to make:
- You might wonder what I’m doing in the video when mixing the flour/sugar/butter etc. Well. I started with the hand whisk. Sugar went EVERYWHERE, mostly in my face and up my nose. Using a wooden spoon wasn’t much better; eventually I settled for trying to make breadcrumbs using my fingers. Trial and improvement, I suppose!
- Other than that, these were fine – pretty quick and easy to make.
- As you’ll note from the wardrobe change, I iced the cupcakes the day after making them so they were definitely cool.
How it came out:
- When I cut the first cupcake open, I was concerned that it looked very dry and over-baked. However, I think that it might just have been the tea bits giving that impression. They were actually pretty good. They definitely did have an Earl Grey flavour. The combination with the marmalade icing was just glorious.
- “Moist” was the verdict from my friend (hopefully in the positive Mary Berry sense, not the negative teenage insult sense). “Best bake by far” – high accolade from my boyfriend.
- The dark chocolate chips all sank to the bottom of the cakes. I suppose you could try to avoid that by sprinkling them on top of each cup just before baking. But actually it was quite nice having a layer at the bottom. A bit like an odd cheesecake.
- Baking lessons learnt:
- Sometimes it is easiest to use your hands.
- If you spill icing sugar on the table, brush it up. DO NOT WIPE IT UP WITH A WET CLOTH! It will turn it into icing. Yes, I might have accidentally iced my kitchen table while trying to clean up.
- Physical progress:
- Again, splitting the effort between different days helped.
- This bake actually completely wiped me out. It feels like a bit of a backwards step to be honest, but I think it might be because I’m on two courses of antibiotics this week and they are making me feel a bit off colour. No doubt I will bounce back!
If you want to see where I cobbled this together from:
This bake, I have been mostly listening to:
Love love love the 80s vibe from another great Fire Tiger track. I could easily be somewhere like Santa Monica if I closed my eyes and listened to this. Happy, sunny, feel good – YES! Thanks again to Tiff and the guys for kindly supporting the blog.
You can get the whole ‘Energy’ album here.
Caroline Crimson x