Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back from the Dead!

So I know it has been a long long time!! I got a job, moved into an awesome apartment, got a cat, and have been crazy busy! And although I know I won't be able to blog all the time like I was doing before I am going to try and post when I make something super awesome. Like today,

Say hello to the awesomeness of Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with a Honey Chai Buttercream. I needed to make cupcakes for our staff meeting on Monday but really didn't feel like going to the store. I came across a couple chai cupcake recipes and came up with my own version. I think a cream cheese icing would be really good on these too- kind of like a kicked up spice cake! I just didn't have any cream cheese and was really not going to the store! I made mini cupcakes because I needed more and didn't have enough butter to double the recipe! These are really moist and yummy and taste just like chai. Don't skip infusing the chai with the milk because that is really what kicks them up a notch.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

1/2 cup milk
2 vanilla chai tea bags
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour (I used a mix of cake flour and all purpose just because I had both)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Put the milk and tea bags in a saucepan and bring to a boil. (Note: If you have a gas stove don't dangle the string with the tag over the side of the pan. That is a great way to catch the tag on fire. After one teeny tiny fire and a new pot of milk and tea bags I decided to take the string and tag off!)
2. After it comes to a boil turn off the stove and let the tea seep for a bit in the milk while you start on the cupcakes.
3. Cream the butter until its nice and fluffy.
4. Add in the sugar and mix it for a bit until its fluffy
5. Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time.
6. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg into a separate bowl. (Note: You could also add in some cardamon but I just didn't have any to put in)
7. Alternately add a bit of the flour mixture and the chai infused milk to the creamed sugar and butter mix
8. Taste and adjust the spices if you want!
9. Combine the vinegar and baking soda in a separate bowl and once its all done fizzing add it into the mix
10. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes (This is for mini cupcakes- if you want normal sized cupcakes they might need to bake a little longer)

Honey Chai Buttercream

3 tbls butter
1/3 cup shortening (You could use 1 stick of butter but I only had 3 tbls of butter left so I improvised)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbls milk
3 tbls honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

1. Cream the butter and shortening together
2. Add in everything else and mix for a while until it gets really smooth and fluffy

If I had thought enough ahead I would probably have done 3/4 cup of milk with 3 tea bags when I did the cupcakes and saved the rest to add into the icing. But I didn't think ahead and I didn't feel like taking the extra work for only a few tablespoons of milk. But I am sure that it would have been even better if I had done that.

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