Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When Artists Cook

Hi everyone, Tracey Fletcher King here.  

It is no secret to anyone who knows me, or reads my blog, that I love tea... and at the risk of going all Oprah on you I will still say it is my passion, my bliss, my reason for getting up in the morning yada yada yada... you get the idea... but I really do love every single thing about it... the smells, the cups, the bits and bobs that you use to make it, the teapots, the teabag papers, and packaging.. it just makes me happy... and so when I found a recipe that made Green Tea flavoured cupcakes I was beyond excited... and to top them off Lemon Icing... love me some lemon flavoured anything I have to say...

The lemon thing is left over from being pregnant... 16 years ago... where did the time go????... when all I wanted to eat was anything lemon flavoured... or meat pies, which I hadn’t eaten in years before falling pregnant, and in a bizarre flavour combination, even for pregnancy, tinned pineapple was also consumed almost every day...  I remember vividly actually sucking on a lemon at one stage, and it tasted fine, good in fact, and while I have to say tinned pineapple and meat pies are no longer on my list of foods I need regularly, lemon has remained... lemon green tea, lemon pudding, lemon sorbet, lemon chicken... the list goes on for lemony goodness.

I modified it somewhat and made it with Blueberry green tea mainly because I had been looking for an excuse to draw the packaging that they came in... but also because this stuff is delicious... so I gleefully announced to the family that they would be getting them for afternoon tea, and was met with raised eyebrows and reassurances that they were still full from lunch... but I refused to be put off by their lack of enthusiasm and plunged in... and not only were they Brewtiful... forgive me I had to write it!!!! .... the hordes actually have requested a repeat performance... even the dog seemed impressed and he is surprisingly picky for a mutt... and so they have been made a few times since and have worked every time... I have tried different flavoured green tea, and different icing, but the blueberry and lemon combo is my favourite... 

A note of caution though ... I am also including gluten free measurements in brackets as my daughter is a celiac and so I have to convert everything, and like many baked GF products they do seem to take on a texture not unlike eating Spongebob Squarepants the next day, so I would suggest consuming the whole batch on the day they are made, or maybe freezing them...sans icing of course, then defrosted, warmed slightly in the microwave and topped with a spoon, or two of lemon cream cheese... but the non gluten free version seems to have some legs and are edible for a couple of days... I have also used the GF ones in a trifle once they reached sponge status, and it was a delicious way to make use of the spongy texture and not have to waste them.... and it had the added bonus of making me feel like a very efficient and domestic goddess ... creative use of leftovers... check... don’t think I have had the feeling since, but it was nice at the time...

Green Tea Cup Cakes with Lemon Icing

Makes 12
4 green tea bags
¼ cup boiling water
125gr( 4 ½ oz) butter softened
2/3 cup caster or fine white sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ ( 2 and a bit  Gluten free) cups self raising flour
¼ cup milk

Lemon Icing
1 ¾ cups soft icing sugar mixture
10g ( 1/3 oz) butter, melted
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Lemon zest to decorate

1.    Preheat oven  to 180 C/160C for fan 350 / 320 F 
and line a 12 hole capacity, muffin pan with paper cases

2.    Place two teabags in a heatproof jug and add the boiling water 
and let stand for at least 5 minutes, then remove and discard bags. 
Remove leaves from the remaining tea bags and place in a mixer along with 
butter, sugar, eggs, flour, brewed tea and milk. 
Beat on a low speed for 30 seconds and then increase speed 
to medium and beat until thick and pale.

3.    Spoon into cases and bake for 20 mins or until a skewer comes clean. 
Stand in pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4.    While they are cooling and in between batting away hands that try to steal them. 
Make the icing and spread it on when the cakes are cool. 
Then top with some zest and sit back and enjoy the waves 
of praise that will be coming your way... xx

Hope you all enjoy them as much as we have...xx