Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Irish Tea Cupcakes

 This year I tried to be a little more authentic and attempted a cupcake that tastes like a cross between Irish Soda Bread and Irish Tea Cake. I went with an icing that is close to something you might want to spread on Irish Soda Bread. I think it turned out pretty good.

 The decorations are made with a heart cutter and gumpaste. I assembled the three hearts with a stem to form the shamrocks. I made white flowers with an orange center to incorporate the colors of the flag.
 The recipe calls for rehydrating the raisins in Irish Breakfast Tea. I think it really adds to the flavor. I am sure some of you will skip this step, it is a little fussy, but what is an Irish Tea Cupcake without tea?
Recipe Follows.

These really Irish cupcakes can be enjoyed whether you are really Irish or not.

Irish Tea Cupcakes

2 bags Irish Breakfast tea                                            1 cup boiling water
1 cup raisins                                                                    1 tablespoons honey
2 cups cake flour                                                           1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda                                              ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened                                ¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg                                                                      1 cup buttermilk
In a 2 cup measuring glass, bring one cup of water to a boil in the microwave. Add two tea bags and let brew for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and stir in tablespoon of honey then add raisins to soak. Set aside for thirty minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with 20 cupcake liners. Set aside.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter until creamy and then add sugar to combine. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in half of the dry ingredients, the buttermilk, and then the rest of the dry mixture, stirring well after each addition.
Drain the raisins and stir into the batter until they are evenly distributed.
Use a spring loaded scoop to fill the cupcake liners, a little over halfway. Evenly distribute the batter to make 20 cupcakes.
Bake the cupcakes for 18 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.

Orange Marmalade Frosting
4 tablespoons butter, softened                                                 1 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoons orange marmalade                                            5 cups powdered sugar
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and orange juice until creamy. Add the orange marmalade and mix well. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar on low speed and beat until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes.