Anyone who grew up in England will know the joy of Parma Violets - little sugary sweets with an interesting flowery taste and perfume.
I walked for hours to try and find some - and in the end they were in the Co-op around the corner from my house. Sod's law.
Despite being a bit tough to get your hands on if you don't know exactly where they're sold, they make an excellent part of a cupcake when ground into a fine dust.
That lovely aroma and childhood nostalgia pairs perfectly with the unique blend of Earl Grey, but you can use any tea you like. A violet infused tea, perhaps.
For the cupcakes:
2/3 cup or 160ml of whole milk
4 Earl Grey tea bags
1 3/4 cups or 220g of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1/3 cup or 80ml of sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup or 120ml of flavourless oil (Vegetable or canola etc. Don't use olive oil)
3/4 cup or 150g of sugar
2 large eggs
For the frosting:
1 cup or 225g of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups or 250g of icing/confectioner's sugar
4 packets of large Parma Violets plus 1 pack for garnish
1 tbsp or 20ml of milk
1. Warm your milk in a pan until it just starts to boil and bring it off the hob. Add your tea bags, give it a stir and leave it to steep for at least 30 minutes. Discard the tea bags and top up with more milk to replace any absorbed or lost to evaporation.
2. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with large cupcake liners.
3. Sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
4. Whisk your oil and sugar together until well combined and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition and add half of your dry ingredients.
5. Stir the sour cream and vanilla extract into the cooled milk and pour into your main mixing bowl. Add the rest of your flour mixture and mix until just combined.
6. Using a 1/4 cup measure or a spoon, add the batter to your prepare cupcake papers and bake for 15-17 minutes.
7. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack while you prepare the frosting.
8. You'll need to grind the Parma Violets into a fine powder - I used a makeshift pestle and mortar, but you could also try putting them into a sandwich bag and bashing them with a rolling pin, or it may even work to put them in a food processor.
9. With an electric mixer or incredibly strong forearm, whisk your butter until smooth and creamy and add the icing sugar and milk. Once incorporated, add the Parma Violet dust and combine. Give it a taste - if it needs more violet flavour, add more dust. If the consistency is too wet, add more sugar. If it's too dry, a splash more milk will sort it right out.
10. Frost your cupcakes liberally and garnish with more Parma Violets.
This recipe was originally posted on The Lumberjack Baker.