Another day, another fundraiser at work (and another cupcake recipe on this blog), and since I am now officially She Who Bakes Allergy-Friendly Foods, I had to come up with something gluten-free and vegan that my friends could eat…
The fun part about this recipe is that I actually don’t like these cakes much at all. But everyone else did, so I have concluded that perhaps I just don’t like jasmine tea very much. You might think I would have checked this before going off and inventing a recipe based on it, but no. You see, I’ve never drunk jasmine tea – I don’t actually like tea, though I have tried very hard to do so – but I love the smell of jasmine tea. Love it.
I’m always buying Andrew jasmine tea so that he can drink it, because Andrew can generally be relied upon to steep his tea for ages, and then forget about it and leave it around the house somewhere, and then reheat it, and then decide it’s too hot, and leave it to cool, and then forget about it… which may sound like a terrible thing to do to tea – I don’t know, I don’t drink tea – but it does mean that the whole house winds up smelling of jasmine for hours. Which is a win for me. I’m not sure about whether it’s a win for Andrew, too.
(Andrew says I’m exaggerating about his tea-drinking habits, but that’s what it looks like from the outside. And until he gets a blog of his own, he’s just going to have to live with my version of the story, ha ha!)
Anyway, all of this prompted me to look at the matcha tea cupcakes in my Vegan cupcake book and decide that they would be *even better* if I totally changed the technique and made them gluten free and, oh yes, used jasmine tea instead of matcha tea. People who like tea tell me that they are indeed even better.
But sadly, I have once again failed to like tea. Even jasmine tea. Even in a cupcake. But if you do happen to like jasmine tea, then these cupcakes are probably for you.
(I may not like eating them, but I do like the way they smell…)
Your Shopping List2 tsp jasmine tea (loose leaf), + 1 tsp for the icing 2 cups almond milk (rice milk is fine if you can’t eat nuts) 2 tsp raspberry vinegar 1/3 cup canola oil 1 1/3 cups sugar 1/2 cup margarine 1 3/4 cups rice flour 1/2 cup potato starch 1/4 cup cornflour (the squeaky kind) 1/4 cup tapioca starch 2 tsp guar gum or xanthum gum 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarb of soda a pinch of salt 1/2 tsp orange flower water 1 1/2 cups icing sugar 40 ml boiling water 2 tsp butter 24 raspberries, or marzipan flowers if that floats your boat
Now what will you do with it?
Put the almond milk and two teaspoons of jasmine tea in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to steep until the almond milk is cool. Strain the milk into a bowl, pressing hard on the jasmine tea, to make sure as much flavour goes into the milk as possible.
Add the raspberry vinegar to the milk, and leave to curdle for a few minutes. Now would be a good time to pre-heat your oven to 180°C and line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper cases. You could also combine all your flours in a bowl with the salt and bicarb and baking powder and mix them together. You could even sift them! But that would make you much less lazy than me.
Stir the oil and half the sugar into the jasmine-infused milk, along with the orange flower water.
Cream the margarine with the rest of the sugar, and then mix in the flour in about three batches, alternating with the milk mixture. You should get quite a nice smooth batter by the end of it, somewhat thicker than crêpe batter, but of the same nature.
Spoon the batter into your prepared cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cakes are risen, golden and a bit springy.
Let cool while you make the icing.
Put the rest of the jasmine tea into a small bowl, and pour the boiling water over it. Leave to infuse for twenty minutes or so while you race into the study to type up your recipe before you forget what you put into it… oh, wait, you don’t have to do that. Well, I suppose you could always wash up. Or listen to some fun YouTube clips.
Strain the tea into a large bowl, and beat in the margarine. Sift in the icing sugar into a bowl – incidentally, low-GI or golden icing sugar is awesome here, and adds to the tan tea-colour of the cakes, and mix until you have a nice glacé icing consistency – this is the kind of icing that you dollop onto the cake and watch it spread out into a smooth circle. You may need more hot water – if so, pour it through the tea leaves in the sieve. The cupcakes themselves are fairly subtle, so you want to get a good, strong jasmine flavour here.
Spoon the icing over the cakes – you should end up with a heaped teaspoon or so per cake for almost complete coverage – and top with a fresh raspberry. Feed to someone who likes tea. But not, alas, to me…
You can use plain wheat flour, or any other gluten-free flour combination to replace the set of ingredients that starts with rice flour and ends with guar gum. You possibly should do this if you aren’t actively catering for the gluten-free; because this cake tastes fairly plain, the texture is more noticeable than usual, and while this gluten-free mix is a pretty good imitation of plain flour, I found that I could tell the difference this time. (Again, though, I fed these cakes to lots of people at work and I was the only one complaining. To them, in some cases. They just looked at me oddly, which is nothing new, I might add…)
If you are avoiding nuts, rice milk or dairy milk could replace the almond milk. I would avoid soy, on the grounds that the flavour is a bit too forward for this recipe.
I’m afraid I can’t comment on other flavour variations because this recipe really did not work for me, and it’s hard to know what will work with a flavour you don’t actually like. Though rosewater instead of orange-flower water might be a nice touch.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This time last year… Recipe: Almond and Berry Cake for a Big Birthday Good Food Day More Wedding Cake Planning