Afternoon Tea with Chateau Rouge’s Earl Grey Royal Blue Tea

Once again I have the pleasure of having afternoon tea with Chateau Rouge Tea and you are welcome to join us.

The last time we had afternoon tea with them we enjoyed the smoky sweet taste of their vanilla rooibos tea here.

Growing up in Zimbabwe we always had afternoon tea with biscuits except on the weekends of course where mum had more time to bake. Each day, after school my brother and I would sit down at the kitchen table with our parents and enjoy a cuppa. It was always a normal strong black tea with milk and sugar and that first sip of that hot strong tea was always the best.

It wasn’t till I was in my mid 20’s that I was introduced to early grey tea. I still remember the day as it was yesterday.

I was on my lunch break from work with my girlfriend and before heading back  we always had a tea or coffee to beat the afternoon slump. I ordered my usual latte macchiato and she, her earl grey tea.

I screwed my nose up and said ‘How can you drink that? It has such a strong scent’.

She replied, ‘Have you tried it?’.

Me, biting my tongue and in a low tone, I replied, ‘No’.

So she made me try it. I should have known better than to ask her that question knowing full well I have never tried it. But I am glad I did.

She walked me through it.

She told me to hold the tea-cup close to my nose. She told me to close my eyes and take a deep breath in.

I did as I was told.

She asked, ‘Do you smell the oranges?’.

Sure enough I could smell the sweet scent of oranges.

I took a sip and to my surprise it was delicious, it was smooth & soothing. I couldn’t describe the taste. It doesn’t taste of oranges but with every sip I took, I was taken to an orchard in full bloom.

Since then I have been hooked.

SONY DSCWhen I received the tea from Chateau Rouge Tea I was over the moon to see the selection included their Earl Grey Royal Blue tea. The first thing I did was to make self a cuppa earl grey. I wanted to escape to that orchard in full bloom. Whilst I was there I whipped up some deliciously refreshing early grey cupcakes

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Earl Grey Citrus Cupcakes

Ingredients

1/2 cup (115g) butter (at room temperature)

1 cup (190g) sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup (150g) flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk

zest of half an orange or lemon

1 tsp vanilla essence

4 tablespoon earl grey tea leaves

226g cream cheese

1/2 cup (115g) butter (cut into cubes)

1/2 – 1 cup (32g) powdered sugar

2 – 3 tablespoon earl grey tea infused milk

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Method

1. Bring the milk to a boil and immediately take it off the heat. Add 3 tablespoons (reserve 1 tablespoon for the batter) of tea leaves and let it infuse till the milk cools to room temperature. Once cool strain the milk and discard the tea leaves. Set aside 2 – 3 tablespoons of the milk for the frosting.

2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, earl grey tea leaves and citrus zest.

4. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the room temperature butter until it turns pale in colour. Add sugar and vanilla and continue beating at medium speed until fluffy.

5. Add eggs one at a time.

6. Add flour mixture and milk in 3 segments, alternating between flour mixture and milk.

7. Mix until well incorporated.

8. Scoop batter into cupcake liners to 3/4 full.

9. Bake for 20 minutes for until firm to the touch and lightly golden on top.

10. Insert toothpick down the middle and remove to check for doneness. Toothpick should come out clean. Otherwise continue baking until ready.

11. Set aside to cool completely on a wire rack.

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Earl Grey Frosting

1. Please cream cheese in a stand mixer with whipping attachment. Beat until fluffy.

2. Add butter, one cube at a time.

3. Add powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time.

4. Add earl grey tea infused milk a tablespoon at a time and look at the consistency of the buttercream. If it is too dry, add more milk. If it is too wet add more sugar.

5. Refrigerate until cupcakes are ready to frost.

* I found this buttercream to be a bit too soft so I let it sit in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour or so before I used it. Give it a good mix before using it.

I hope you enjoyed this afternoon tea with Chateau Rouge Tea and I in an orchard full in bloom.

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