spiced chai latte cupcakes
I hope you're having a lovely Wednesday!
It was my Mom's birthday yesterday and to celebrate, my sister, Ann, organized a tea party!
Alas, there was no Mad Hatter, but she created an amazing menu with a variety of little tea sandwiches: devilled egg, cucumber with garlic butter, almond chicken salad, seafood, and (my favorite of the evening) pineapple cream cheese - a brilliant collection to say the least.
Tea parties are fabulous for any occasion. Tea is such a wonderful thing, it really embodies an energy of comfort and contentment. Add to that some lovely little sandwiches, a few sweets, cool comrades and you've got yourself one chillin' little tea party! There are all sorts of groovy ideas on the Internet for hosting a tea party; one thing I really loved about Ann's tea was she had collected all sorts of quotes about tea, all totally random, wrote them on little bits of paper and scattered them over the table. This alone created mass amounts of entertainment for everyone.
My contribution to the evening was Spiced Chai Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Frosting. These turned out incredibly, the flavour was like no cupcake I'd consumed before. The spices in the cake blended beautifully; the frosting had only a bit of vanilla and cinnamon for flavouring, but really pulled the whole cupcake together. My taste buds sang and proceeded to dance with one another. It was magical.
The only downer I encountered was with my very first attempt at piping icing, which turned out horribly. Piping FAIL. Using a plastic bag, like a zip lock bag, and cutting a small hole in one of the corners will work if you don't have an actual piping bag. However, this approach proved unsuccessful. I ended up just smoothing out the awkward globs on each cupcake with a spatula. And then decorated them accordingly.
Note to self: must invest in a proper piping bag.
I found this recipe here at Love and Olive Oil, which has a huge variety of cupcake recipes, amongst other tasties, so do explore! Oh and take note, the cupcakes (not the icing) are vegan-friendly!
Spiced Chai Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Frosting
makes 12 cupcakes
1 c. soy milk
4 black tea bags or 2 Tbsp loose leaf black tea
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
for the frosting
1/2 c. sugar
2 large egg whites
3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat soy milk in a small saucepan until almost boiling. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes, then remove teabags, squeezing out as much soy milk as possible. Re-measure and add more soy milk to make exactly 1 cup. Whisk in cider vinegar, and set aside until curdled.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Pour in soy milk mixture, along with oil, sugar, and vanilla and stir just until no large lumps remain.
Fill cupcake liners with 1/4 cup of batter (liners should be 2/3 full) and bake for 20-22 minutes or until puffed and golden - be sure not to over-bake. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick and shiny meringue, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the batter is in, beat the butter cream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6 - 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and whip for another 30 seconds until incorporated. Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.