Sunday, January 1, 2012

Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes: London Fog Tea Lattes

It's true what everybody says about Seattleites - we all love Starbucks. Some of us try to deny it and say that we're all about the local places. That's true too. I like the local coffee places, but I also love my Starbucks. I've got a gold card and a complicated drink. Everybody here loves coffee. Even if you don't love coffee, you still go to Starbucks and you get tea lattes and other tea...things. I usually go for tea honestly, I love a good London fog. If you don't know what a London fog is, it's delicious. It's an earl grey tea latte, which is made from earl grey tea, milk (in my case, soy milk), and pure magic. Which is what inspired these cupcakes.

I'd been hitting the London fogs pretty hard lately and saw a recipe in the cupcake bible for a chai tea latte cupcake. There was a little variation at the back of the recipe that said you could make them with earl grey tea (there were a couple other variations...I didn't care, just give me the earl grey tea dammit). I knew I had to make them. It was like that special variation was put in there just for me.

My favorite part of making these cupcakes was the tea part. All of the recipes I use call for soy milk, but I always use almond milk, because I like almond milk better than soy milk. So, the almond milk needs to be heated to the point of almost boiling and then 4 tea bags are added (for me, almost boiling means quickly removing it from the heat before it boils over and then lowering the heat because for some reason I can never get it to almost boil...pfft). Then it steeps for 10 minutes while trying not to catch the tags on fire, and then you squeeze every last bit of tea out. I don't know why, but this part is super fun for me. It's probably because of all the yummy earl grey smells. Or maybe it's the potential for fire.

The interesting part about this recipe is that it calls for soy yogurt. I hate yogurt. I hated it before I was vegan, and I super hate it now. The whole idea of yogurt is gross to me. It's milk that's gone bad, and apparently that's good for you. Ew. And for some reason, we've decided that we have to have a vegan version of it. Ugh, whatever (don't get me wrong, I do understand the health benefits and all that...doesn't mean it doesn't gross me out).

So, I didn't realize I needed this right away (part of the curse of my previously horrible baking skills, remember how I used to leave ingredients out), so I started making the cupcakes and then got to the part that said yogurt and was like "well...shit." So, you can imagine Mirko's surprised look when, knowing how much I hate yogurt, I kindly asked him to run to the store real quick and pick up some soy yogurt for me. I think my dog, Zoidberg, was even shocked.

Luckily, I have a really amazing husband and we live really close to the store, so he agreed and was only gone for like 10 minutes; I was able to get all my dry ingredients ready in the mean time along with getting the liners ready. I finished making the batter, filled the liners, and in the oven they went. I usually like to taste the batter as a way to test the cupcakes before they're even done. If the batter tastes good, generally the cupcakes will taste good too.

Yeah, I made that batter disappear. This was the best batter of my life. So good. Gotta love eggless batter.

They came out of the oven perfectly. I finished them off with a vanilla buttercream frosting. And edible purple glitter. Why the purple glitter you ask? Oh. Well, I made some cupcakes for Mirko's team the week before that tasted fantastic, but they looked terrible, so I apologized for them looking terrible. One of his coworkers said it was unacceptable. It really was. I didn't take pictures, but this will give you an idea of what they looked like:

Terrible. So, I promised pretty cupcakes the next time I made them. So I gave them pretty cupcakes. Purple glitter and all.