Monday, February 25, 2013

Raspberry Tea Scented Buttercream

I have not had the greatest luck with gluten free vegan cupcakes.  It's not that they are terrible, but they just aren't THERE yet.  Either the flavor is slightly off, or the texture.  I'll get it.  Eventually.  I did kill the vegan birthday cake recipe when I was using gluten, so I know this too will come.

In the meantime, for my birthday I wanted icing with a bit more flavor than my standard vanilla.  Something not overpowering, but strong enough to hide those mild imperfections.  So, I went to the kitchen in search of inspiration for flavor that is naturally derived, not concocted in someone's lab.

I have no idea what inspired me to look into the tea cupboard (Yes, I have an entire cupboard of tea.  My little people drink herbal tea every morning when they wake up.)  There were flavors there that spoke to me.  The hard part was narrowing it down to one...

Raspberry white tea.  Delicate in flavor yet prominent enough to steal the stage if need be.

My icing recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of liquid, and I knew the tea would need to be brewed quite strong in order to carry the needed flavor to the icing.  My brain was whirring.  How to improve the process?

AHA! Why not brew the tea in the shortening?  Yep.  Melt the shortening on the stove top and add the tea bags.  Let steep 5 minutes, and remove the bags, gently squeezing all of the precious flavor from each small bag.  Place shortening in the fridge to firm back up, then make icing per your standard recipe.

I know, it's not a recipe.  You have your favorite icing recipe, use it.  Use your favorite flavor of tea.  It was delicious!