Wednesday, December 1, 2010

EDU: Chai Cupcakes

I've always thought chai and baked goods would go well together.  I once tried baking a chai banana bread (yum, right?) but the bread was way more banana than chai.  After seeing this cupcake recipe I thought I'd see if the chai flavor really popped.

What you'll need for the cupcakes:

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp chai tea powder
1/4 cup sweet butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 egg whites
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Set out your reusable silicone baking cups (or paper cups).  In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and chai powder.  In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar until smooth.  Add the egg whites slowly, beating well.  Slowly add the flour mixture and finally the buttermilk.  Mix until combined.

Spoon the batter into cups and bake for 20 minutes.  In my experience you need the solid 20 minutes.  Remove cupcakes and cool on a rack.

What you'll need for the frosting:

1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the cream cheese and confectioners sugar together in a medium bowl and beat until soft and light (I set the Kitchenaid to a pretty high speed and beat the mixture for 5 minutes or so).  Add the lemon and vanilla and beat until smooth.

I liked the frosting but I'd say if you're not too keen on lemon halve the amount.  I adore lemon so a full tablespoon of fresh lemon juice was lovely but I can see how it could be too much.

Once your cupcakes have cooled spoon a dollop of frosting on top and present to the masses.  I gave the guys upstairs a sampling and they thought the cupcakes were delicious.  They did admit to never having tried chai so they didn't really know what they were eating.  I didn't think the chai flavor came through strongly enough.  Perhaps dumping in more chai powder would work.  Still delicious, I'm just searching for the right chai baked good I guess.

Editors Note: These were deceptively dense. Like they were filled with ball bearings or something. But they were still moist and sweet, although I will agree that the Chai flavor wasn't very strong, though I must admit I don't think I know exactly what Chai tastes like. I wasn't a fan of the icing because I cheese doesn't belong in desserts. That includes cheesecake, anything with ricotta, and cream cheese frosting. Cheese just adds a tang and tartness that I can't get over. Sorry. Oreo cupcakes still reign supreme. 

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