I picked up a recipe card from Wheel and Barrow years ago drawn to the purple cupcake liners and the purple flowers atop. Having shunned purple for years as it was the unofficial colour of the alternative world of which I am not really part of (have you noticed all "new age" shops are purple and smell of incense?), I came around when I met my family in law, the ultimate alternative family and designers started using purple in dresses and my love of purple grew from there.
Earl Grey is my favourite tea, followed closely by Lady Grey. Not just because Nigella advertises both, my like for this tea leaf preceded her Twinings ads. My friend Nic, finds it "soapy" and whilst I do agree that it has a certain floral fragrance to it like lavender, I nevertheless find it relaxing. And give me a cup of tea over a coffee anyday.
Earl Grey cupcakes
1 cup almond or hazelnut meal (ground)
3/4 cup self raising flour sifted
1 3/4 cups icing sugar sifted
1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1 1/2 tablespoons Earl Grey (or Lady Grey) leaves
5 egg whites, softly whipped
1 batch of icing (buttercream or royal icing)
Violet food colouring gel
Green food colouring gel
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan forced. Line cupcake tray with purple cupcake liners
Step 2 - Combine the almond or hazelnut meal, flour, icing sugar, orange rind and tea leaves in a bowl
Step 3 - Melt butter until light golden in colour and cool slightly.
Step 4 - Pour cooled butter in flour mixture along with softly whipped egg whites and stir until fully combined
Step 5 - Pour mixture in a measuring jug and then pour into cupcake liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Step 6 - Cool and then spread with icing of your choice (buttercream or royal icing, I just had some royal icing in the fridge).
Step 7 - For flowers (can be made ahead) colour two lots of fondant with violet, one darker than the other. The darker fondant petals will be used on the outside. Roll lighter violet fondant into balls and then between two sheets or cellophane or baking paper, press soup spoon so that you get a roughly round shape. Do the same with the darker violet fondant. With lighter fondant, roll up circle to start rose, then roll another circle around that. Then take one darker fondant circle and roll that around the bud and then take two more darker circles to finish.
Colour fondant green. Cut leaves out using teardrop of leaf shaped cutter and veiner or you can draw the veins on carefully using a knife.
Step 8 - Position flowers and leaves on royal icing before it sets and leave to dry for 2 hours.
"Daisy" Cup and saucer from Wedgwood Harlequin collection available from Myer and David Jones.