Chai tea & pear cupcake Recipe

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Baking is effective therapy. For me it is incredibly relaxing. No matter what I am going through, how messy and out of control my kitchen (or life) seems, as soon as I get out my mixing bowls and begin putting together a new recipe that has been mulling around in my head or bake something just because I like the sound of French Earl grey tea in my cupcakes, I instantly unwind.  It’s not just about the sugar hit or opportunity to eat something indulgent. It is the process of creating. Of doing something with my hands.

When I was a child I always loved making things. I remember scouring the family bookshelves for our two art and craft books, looking for my next project. No matter how many times I looked through those books, I always managed to find something to make. Those were the days before the internet when we had to look up  Childcraft  encyclopaedias for inspiration. I remember making a whole house full of rooms out of shoe boxes for my Smurfs, complete with tiny furniture and accessories. I always felt better when my hands were busy creating.

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Fast forward thirty years, the invention of Google, a happy marriage and nine children later, I still love to make things with my hands. To me, creating is like breathing. It is a strong force within me that constantly drives me to explore new possibilities and dream up all sorts of fancies in my mind. Occasionally I get to bring them to life.

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This recipe for chai tea and pear cupcakes brings together two delicious wintery flavours.  Add  sweet honeycomb frosting, a drizzle of butterscotch sauce, a crisp meringue and slice of dried pear if you dare, and you may just have  the ultimate winter extravagance.

Enjoy. xx

Chai tea & pear cupcakes with Honeycomb frosting and butterscotch sauce
Yields 18
A perfectly sweet cupcake best eaten with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce and crisp meringue on top.
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Ingredients
  1. two eggs, lightly beaten
  2. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. 1 cup vegetable oil
  4. 1 cup sour cream
  5. 2 heaped teaspoons of lose leaf chai tea, or 4 tea bags
  6. 1 cup of milk
  7. 1 very ripe pear, peeled, diced or mashed
  8. 2 cups plain flour
  9. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  11. 1 cup brown sugar
  12. 1/2 cup castor sugar
  13. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  14. 1 teaspoon mixed spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Prepare two muffin trays with 18 cupcake papers.
  3. Stir the chai tea into the milk and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
  4. Using a hand whisk, mix together eggs, essence, oil and sour cream.
  5. Add pear and stir to combine.
  6. Strain and discard chai tea, reserve the milk. Add milk to wet mix and stir to combine.
  7. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, spices and sugars. Whisk to combine.
  8. Carefully pour wet mixture into dry mix and whisk to combine.
  9. Scoop mixture into prepared cupcake papers until each is 3/4 full.
  10. Bake at 180C for 18 minutes or until firm to touch. Cool on a wire rack.
  11. When cool, top with honeycomb frosting, butterscotch sauce and a meringue.
Mama Bear's Kitchen http://mamabearskitchen.com.au/
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Honeycomb cream cheese frosting recipe
Yields 18
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 125g butter at room temperature
  2. 125g cream cheese
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  4. Approx 3 - 4 cups icing mixture (or sifted icing sugar)
  5. Approx 1/2 cup pure cream
  6. 1 Violet Crumble honeycomb bar chopped small enough to fit through a large open hole piping tip
Instructions
  1. In an electric mixer on med -high speed, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes
  2. Add cream cheese and continue to beat until well combined
  3. Turn mixer onto low speed and gradually add icing sugar 1/2 a cup at a time
  4. Continue to add icing sugar and cream a little at a time to bring frosting to a desired consistency
  5. Take bowl out of mixer and stir in chopped honeycomb pieces
  6. Put frosting into a piping bag with a large open hole tip and pipe onto cupcakes.
  7. Drizzle with store bought caramel sauce or make your own
To make dried pear strips
  1. 1. Finely slice two ripe pears.
  2. 2. Brush sugar syrup over both sides of pear slices.
  3. (For sugar syrup mix together two tablespoons of castor sugar with two tablespoons of water and simmer on low heat on a stove top until sugar is dissolved - about 5 minutes.)
  4. 3. Line a baking tray with bake paper
  5. 4. Place pear slices onto tray and bake in a low oven 100C for half an hour. Check and turn pear slices over. Bake for another half hour or until you are happy with how they look. Put slices into cupcakes for decoration.
Butterscotch sauce Recipe
  1. 2/3 cup pouring cream
  2. 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  3. 2 1/2 tablespoons butter cubed
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 1. Place cream, sugar, butter and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until well combined.
  6. 2. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for 5 min or until the sauce thickens slightly.
  7. 3. Cool to room temperature before drizzling over cupcakes.
Mama Bear's Kitchen http://mamabearskitchen.com.au/
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