Monday, October 31, 2011

Gorgeous Geisha Cupcakes

If you're a fan of T2 tea, then you'll know where the inspiration came from for these cupcakes.

Gorgeous Geisha tea is a delicious blend of green tea flavoured with strawberries & cream and is one of T2's most popular teas (and for a good reason).

The occasion for these cupcakes was a friends 31st birthday. I adore spoiling friends with a home made sweets, and even more so when they are for a special occasion.

The components of this cupcake included a matcha (green tea) cupcake, filled with a sweet fresh strawberry filling and topped with a velvety swiss meringue buttercream.

I was so happy with the results of these cupcakes and I hope they were enjoyed by the birthday girl too.

Matcha (Green Tea) Cupcakes
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon matcha (green tea) powder
113g unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup full cream milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 175 degrees c. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and matcha powder; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until the cubes of butter are peanut-sized or a little smaller.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Filling
450g Frozen strawberries, thawed and diced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, combine diced strawberries, sugar, cornflour and lemon juice and mix well. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Strawberry Buttercream
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup (112g) caster sugar
170g salt reduced or unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Approx 1/4 cup strawberry puree (using left over strawberry filling)

Puree the remaining strawberry filling in a food processor and set aside.

Beat butter with a hand held electric mixer until fluffy and pale.

In double boiler over simmering water, whisk sugar and egg whites until warm and sugar is dissolved, 3 - 5 minutes (if you have a digital thermometer, warm until temperature reaches 70 degrees c). Transfer to clean bowl of electric mixer; beat on high with whisk attachment until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes.

Reduce mixer to medium-low; add butter a dessert spoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

Switch to paddle attachment; beat on lowest speed 3 to 5 minutes adding the strawberry puree to taste (don't put too much in as the buttercream can go goopy).

1. Using a small pairing knife or small (2.5cm) round cutter, cut out a hole in the top of your cupcake.
2. Fill the cavity with strawberry filling.
3. Replace the top of the hole.
4. Ice the cupcake with the buttercream (I used a piping bag with a 1M Wilton tip)
5. EAT!