Earl Grey Tea Muffins

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One more muffin recipe in this unplanned muffin mini-marathon. These are a bit sweeter than the other muffins I've posted, so are more suitable as in-between-meal snacks perhaps, or even at home for teatime. They are still not overly sweet though, and are featherly light and fragrant. Flecked throughout with fine tea leaves, they sort of taste like an Earl Grey milk tea in muffin form. You can see the tea when you split one open.

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Since each mini-muffin is only 60 calories (120 for regular sized ones), consider carrying these along instead of succumbing to a donut or pastry.

Recipe: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

The dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups minus 3 Tbs (230g) all purpose or cake flour (with cake flour they will be lighter, but AP flour works too)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 Tbs. Sucanat (see notes) or light brown sugar or raw cane sugar or regular sugar
  • Pinch of salt

The wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs canola oil or light olive oil (or other flavorless vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/3 regular low-fat milk + 1 Tbs. vinegar)

Plus:

  • 1 tsp. or 1 teabag fine Earl Grey tea leaves. If your tea leaves are on the coarse side, grind them up a bit in a mortar and pestle, or just crumble them up by rubbing the leaves between your fingers.

Again, the procedure is almost identical to the corn muffins! Muffins are so easy.

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Grease or spray non-stick spray onto your muffin tins if needed.

Mix or sift together the dry ingredients.

Beat together the wet ingredients until blended.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, using a spatula. Don’t overmix. Add the tea leaves.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes for mini-muffins, 25-30 for regular size muffins, until the tops are browned and a skewer stuck through a middle muffin comes out clean. Note: these muffins will puff up quite a bit.

Take out of the muffin tins and cool on a rack - that is, if you can resist eating them hot, since these smell so good!

If freezing, put them in the freezer well wrapped as soon as they are at room temperature.

Notes

Sucanat is a fine grain raw cane sugar. You can find it at health food stores. It’s expensive, but I find I need less of it than regular sugar since it has a lot of flavor. If you can’t get it, use one of the suggested substitutions. (Repeated from the corn muffins page).

Try using different kinds of tea leaves. So far, I've tried some Bitter Orange from Fortnum and Mason, and Apple from Fauchon, as well as Mariage Frères Darjeeling (I'm a bit of a tea-nut). I have to say that Earl Grey is still my favorite - the bergamot really comes through quite strongly. I've gotten the best results using a sort of generic brand tea bag I got in England the last time I was there with very fine leaves. A pairing of tea brewed with the same tea leaves you used for the muffins is nice.

These match very nicely with jam.