There are many secret gardens in the city of London and one of them is the giant glass house at Kew Gardens. The beautiful giant iron and glass structure holds a collection of exotic plants and trees from all over the world.
My recent trip to the giant glass house has made me crave for Earl Grey tea and cakes! I had seen a recipe on Earl Grey cupcakes and decided to make a few modifications to give it a twist…. So I give you “Earl Grey Cupcakes with Meringue icing topping”…. Yum….!
Earl Grey cupcakes:
110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
120ml semi-skimmed milk
3 Earl Grey tea bags
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
150g self-raising flour + 125g plain flour, sifted together in a bowl
1 tsp baking powder
Meringue icing topping:
4 large egg whites
190g granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. Put Earl Grey tea bags and grated nutmeg in the sauce pan of milk, heat gently. Cream butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer. Add one egg at a time until combined well. Add half amount of flour and the flavoured milk into the mixture and mix well. Add the baking powder, the rest of the flour and milk into the mixture and continue mixing. Spoon mixture into a lined 12-hole cupcake tray (two-thirds full). Chuck the tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until it appears golden brown in colour. When time is up, take the cupcakes out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees/gas mark 3. Leave the cupcakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto a wire rack. Beat egg whites in a bowl with an electric hand mixer (aim for stiff peaks), then add 1 tbsp of sugar and mix well. Add the rest of the sugar and mix well again until the mixture looks glossy. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Then return the cupcakes back in the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the meringue has set with a light golden colour surface. Eat straight away.