Novel Nibbles

Novel Nibbles: Steampunk Cupcakes

Following my recent outing to Foyles to meet Gail Carriger, I suddenly found myself craving afternoon tea and compelled to do some home baking to satisfy this craving. I found myself recalling the Cassandra Clare even I attended October 2011 and how one creative fan had made Cassie some yummy cupcakes, complete with edible clockwork cogs.  A regular cupcake just wasn’t going to hit the spot, I was going to have to make Steampunk Cupcakes.
With the image of Cassandra Clare’s cupcake in mind the search for a Clockwork or Cog shaped cookie cutter began. A rummage around Lakelands and Steamer Trading provided fruitless. It was time to bring out he big guns. A Google  search highlighted the distinct lack of Clockwork or Cog shaped cookie cutters. Those I could find were far too large and the shipping times too long for my sugar craving. Thankfully Google came through and I stumbled across Om-Noms by Kelly and her very clever cog shaped sugar cookies. The decoration sorted, it was time to focus on the main event- The Cake!
I wanted to do something a little different from a traditional vanilla cupcake. As much as I love chocolate, lemon and carrot cake, none of these flavours fitted with the image of a dainty Victorian afternoon tea. The inspiration struck, TEA! Searching through my cookery books I found a recipe for a chi tea infused cup cake, which brought to mind trendy coffee shop frequenters supping on Chi Tea lattes, close but not quite right.
Earl Grey on the other hand conjured images of a dainty floral tea service and raised pinkie fingers, Perfect! Two minutes later I was salivating over gorgeous images of Earl Grey infused cup cakes, of which there were many! I finally settled on this recipe from Mean Mother Cooker. Anyone who can pipe butter cream that beautifully  knows a thing or two about cake.
What follows is a build your own cupcake post.
1. Make 12  Earl Grey Infused Cupcakes
2. Choose from either Lemon or Earl Grey Butter Cream (I couldn’t resist making both!)
3. Select topper by level of effort (none, some, lots)
1. The Cup Cake
The Ingredients
150mls of Milk
3 Earl Grey Teabags
115g Soften Unsalted Butter
225g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs, beaten
250g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
Preheat oven to 180C.
Heat milk until steaming.Add tea bags and leave to infuse until milk is room temperature
Cream butter and sugar
Add the egg a little at a time, beating well.
add 1/3 milk, mixing mix well,followed by 1/3 flour. Repeat untilall milk and flour combined.
Line a muffin tin with 12 cake cases.Fill until 2/3 full. Bake in oven for approx 20min.
Allow to cool on a wire rack. If necessary trim of peaks to prepare for butter cream.
2. The Butter Cream.
Choose either Lemon  or Earl Grey butter cream.
The amounts stated will ice 12 cupcakes to the perfect ratio of 1/3 butter cream to 2/3 cupcake.
Alternatively halve the ingredients and make 6 of each type 😉
Beat 75g of Unsalted Butter with therind and juice of two unwaxed lemon(approx 5TBS) and 1/2 of your
375g icing sugar.
Once smooth slowly beat in the rest of the icing sugar.
Optional: Add a couple of drops of yellowfood colouring.
Earl Grey
Infuse 5TBS of milk with 1 earl grey teabag(same method as cakes).
Once cooled beat tea with 75g of unsalted butter and 1/2 of your 375g of icing sugar.
Once smooth slowly beat in remaining sugar.
Optional:add a couple of drop of lilac food colouring.
3. The Cupcake Topper
Pearls and Ball Bearings.
Simply sprinkle with these shop bought decorative balls.
Effort Level: Some
Steampunk Some Snowflakes.
Take left over snowflake sprinkles and mixed with a drop of vodka and 1/4 tsp of edible bronzing powder.
Spread out over a plate in a single layer.Leave to dry.
Effort Level: Lots
Clockwork Cogs: Come backtomorrow to check out my step- by- step post to creating these bronzed beauties!
Post by Caroline


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