London Fog cupcakes

london-fog-cupcakes-8london-fog-cupcakes-7london-fog-cupcakes-6‘Oh god’ you’re thinking. ‘Hannah’s back with cupcakes with yet another inscrutable name’.

Indeed I am. After the Brooklyn Blackout cupcakes of a few weeks’ ago I decided you could all do with one more geographically-named cupcake in your lives.

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A London Fog is one of my favourite hot drinks. It’s Earl Grey tea, made with lots of frothy, latte-style milk and laced with a shot of vanilla syrup. I was introduced to them whilst on holiday in Vancouver and have tried my hand at making my own during various café jobs ever since. A month or so ago I found one in the Canadian coffee shop next-door to our Birmingham office and the discovery pretty much made my week.

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Have you found yourself watching The Crown yet? I’d seriously recommend it. My Irish friend is the yardstick on all things TV, and even as a staunch republican, she loves it. Me, I’m a sucker for anything historical with pretty costumes, but her approval means it must be good. One of the events they portray in the series is the smog that descended onto London for a few days in December of 1952; which I, as a basic-as millenial, had never heard of. My family refers to London as ‘the big smoke’ all the time, and that’s where that saying comes from. So many questions I didn’t even know I had: answered. Thank you, Netflix!

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So yes, I can only presume the drink was named after that {or just fogs in the capital in general, I s’pose}. I tried to recreate the steamed milk element in the form of a mascapone whipped cream on the top of these Earl Grey cupcakes, but had no luck – I just kept overwhipping it and then it looked horrible. If in doubt, revert to buttercream, so that’s what I did. The vanilla syrup is optional but ties in nicely with the third element of the drink. The beautiful cornflowers are actually part of the tea I used, which is the ‘Earl Grey Creme’ from Bluebird Tea Co. 👌

London Fog Cupcakes

Earl Grey tea-infused cupcakes, topped with a light mascapone buttercream and a drizzle of vanilla syrup

The cupcake recipe is based on this one by The Scran Line.

Ingredients

Earl Grey Cupcakes
  • 180ml milk
  • 3 tsp loose leaf Earl Grey tea
  • 215g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 132g caster sugar
  • 65ml sunflower {or other flavourless} oil
  • 60g soft, unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sour cream {or greek yogurt}
  • 1 egg
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
Mascapone Buttercream:
  • 90g soft, unsalted butter
  • 90g mascapone cheese
  • approx. 410g icing sugar
Vanilla Syrup: {ingredients are below, or you can use store-bought}
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat your oven to 160*C and line a cupcake tin with paper cases.

Pour the milk into a saucepan and stir in the tea leaves. Heat gently until the milk is steaming, but not boiling. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid or some tin foil; leave to cool to room temperature. Strain out the tea leaves and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and sugar. Add the butter, and mix on a slow speed until the mixture resembles sand.

Whisk together the egg, sour cream, oil, vanilla and tea-infused milk. Pour into the dry ingredients in a steady stream whilst mixing on a slow speed, until just combined.

Divide the mixture among the paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool.


Beat together the butter and mascapone for a couple of minutes.

Add the icing sugar, spoonful by spoonful, whilst mixing on a slow speed. When all incorporated, beat on high for another couple of minutes until the buttercream is pale and fluffy.

Spoon into a piping bag and top each cupcake with generous swirls.


If making syrup, tip the sugar, water and vanilla into a small saucepan or frying pan. Stir well and heat until the mixture bubbles, then set aside to cool.

Finish off each cupcake with a drizzle of syrup.

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