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Earl Grey has got to be one of my favourite teas – love it especially, lightly sweetened with a spoonful of honey. I was really excited to make these to bring to a pot-luck party. The distinctive scent of bergamot, tempered with the floral sweetness of vanilla beans and a touch of citrus zest to brighten the flavour. The cupcakes were then crowned with a dollop of silky, dark chocolate ganache frosting. Then next time, i might even grind some of the tea leaves and add to the cupcake batter for a more intense earl grey flavour.

Of course, the earl-grey cupcakes weren’t going to the party alone! I also made some of my ‘Seriously Banana’ Banana Cupcakes to take along.

Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes
150g unbleached organic flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
90 g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups organic cane sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup milk
4 Earl grey tea bags
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated

Heat the milk and immerse the tea bags into the milk. Let this steep for 15 minutes. Reserve the flavoured milk and cool. Sift together first 3 ingredients and set aside. On medium speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add in vanilla, orange zest and egg yolk. Fold in the flour mixture alternating with infused milk. In a separate clean bowl (this must be spotless! if not the whites cannot be whipped properly), whip the egg whites with a tablespoon of sugar until soft peaks form. Fold this egg whites into the cake batter until well-combined and no streaks of whites remain. Portion the batter among 12 cupcake liners and bake at 180C for 18 minutes. Cool and top with frosting!

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
200g dark chocolate, chopped (I used 70% cocoa)
200g heavy cream
1 T brandy

Heat the heavy cream until it just begins to simmer. Pour this over the chocolate and let it stand for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, slowly combine the mixture until a thick, shiny ganache forms. Stir in the brandy. Cool to room temperature before whipping it on high speed.

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