White Chocolate and Jasmine Tea Cupcakes

Jasmine Tea Cupcakes

One of the most popular posts on this blog, is the write-up of the jasmine tea macarons, which I made as one of my earliest submissions to MacTweets.

When I made these macarons, I had what seemed like a ton of leftover white chocolate and jasmine ganache.  Ganache is easy to make, in theory, being a simple one part cream to one part chocolate.  But I never seem to get the consistency right on the first attempt, so I inevitably end up adding a bit of extra cream, then a bit of extra chocolate, etc.

In this case, the leftover ganache was put onto a batch of vanilla cupcakes. It was far too runny, but the result was so tasty that I decided to adapt the ganache to make it frosting friendly and to match it to a jasmine tea cupcake. I brought a refined batch of these to last year's Cupcake Camp London, following which I got a couple of e-mails asking for the recipe, so it was about time I got round to posting it.

These are not the cheapest cupcakes to make and I suppose you could work the flavours into buttercream instead of ganache, but I've tried this and they don't have quite the same pizazz (this word looks weird written down).

You need to be quite particular about the chocolate and tea used for these cakes. If you pick a chocolate that uses too much vanilla or is super-sugary, these flavours will overpower the tea.   Tesco Finest  and Marks & Spencer's white chocolate is good; creamy, but not too sickly. I suggest you eat at least 4 different bars in order to find the best one to use!

If you use a rubbish tea, you will get a bitter finish on the ganache. I'm lucky enough to have not one, but two fantastic tea shops near me, in the form of The Tea Box and Rosie & Java, where I get my jasmine tea from. Jing Tea offers a good silver needle jasmine, as well as a selection of flowering teas.

Jasmine Tea Cupcakes

White Chocolate and Jasmine Tea Cupcakes
Makes 10-12, depending on cupcake case size

For the ganache (make this well in advance, preferably the night before, as it needs time to cool and firm up)
200g white chocolate, broken into pieces
150ml double cream
1 tbsp jasmine tea leaves
pinch of salt
1tbsp unsalted butter

Put the cream into a small saucepan and gently heat until it comes to a boil. As it reaches boiling point, add the tea leaves and salt and leave these to steep in the cream for 3-4 minutes.  Strain or sieve the cream into a glass or metal bowl (don't worry about it if some tea leaves make it through the strainer, as long as the majority of them are left behind, this is fine).

Add the chocolate to the strained cream and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave the mixture to melt.  This will happen quite quickly. Once melted, add the butter and once this has melted, whisk the mixture until thick, glossy and amalgamated.  Leave to cool (cover with a clean tea towel)

For the cupcakes
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp jasmine tea leaves
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 180C.  Put the milk into a small bowl (a ramekin is perfect) and add the tea leaves and vanilla.  While this is infusing, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder,until all ingredients are amalgamated and the mixture is pale and fluffy.  Slowly beat in the tea/vanilla/milk.

Spoon into cupcake cases (each case should be about two thirds full) and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top of each cake springs back when lightly pressed.  Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.