Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Hearts!

It's that time again - time for pink, purple, red, and a celebration of all that is sweet! To jump start the week of love, I decided to spend Saturday afternoon catching up on girlie shows and baking a Valentine's Day treat to surprise my favorite med student after his weekend hospital shift.

I saw this recipe for Chai Tea cupcakes on a while back, but it seemed like a lot work; however, since my Dr. Adorable loves Chai so much, I thought Valentine's Day would be the perfect excuse to truck through it.

One thing I always do when consulting All Recipes is read the reviews to see how people have improved the recipe. In this case, I was very glad I did, as I found the advice to be... well... delicious! See the appended recipe below:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (REMOVED)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (used 1 cup instead)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (vegetable oil because I didn't have canola)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (added 1 extra tsp!)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (extra 1/2 tsp, per the reviews)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (added more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (used extra cinnamon/nutmeg because I didn't have cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs (ADDED)
The review said to keep added flour until the mix became less watery. Well, I didn't have any regular white flour, so I was forced to use buckwheat flour. I thought this could have been a potential taste-disaster, but the result was just that the cupcakes turned out more muffin-y in texture. I tasted the batter and decided to add in dashes of more of the above spices listed above.

But what really made them was the ICING! Also an All Recipe's pick, I took the liberty of modifying this recipe too. Whenever possible, I change out water for milk because I think it makes everything more fluffy and flavorful. It also seemed to call for a lot of liquid, so I took out the extra milk it suggests. Thank goodness I did because it would be been wayyy too watery and not dense enough to work with. Recipe below:
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1/4 cup boiling water (MILK instead)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold milk (REMOVED)
Overall, I think this was a success, and I would definitely do it again but likely with normal flour... because who wants healthy when cupcakes and Valentine's Day are involved?!

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