This month, for the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Club, our assignment was to make the Chai Tea Mini Cupcakes with Condensed Milk Glaze. This month's cupcake is being hosted by Rachel of Simple Girl, since the blogger who originally chose for us to make these had to take some time off from her blog. I decided to make half mini cupcakes, and half regular-sized cupcakes this time. I just wanted to have both options available, and my first plan had been to do two different frostings (although that ended up changing).
So my husband loves to drink chai lattes from Starbucks, but he adds a twist to his. He orders them with two shots of espresso added in, and the slang for this is a "dirty chai." So in the spirit of experimentation, I thought it would be fun to make a frosting that sort of paid homage to his "dirty chai" habit. Plus, it was a great excuse to use up some heavy whipping cream I had hanging out in my fridge! So, I threw together some Espresso Whipped Cream to top my cupcakes.
I gotta say, this stuff was outstanding! I found it over on Epicurious; it's super easy and takes only minutes to make. You whip your cream to soft peaks, add in a touch of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. There you go! I was so impressed with the whipped cream frosting that I wound up abandoning the condensed milk frosting that accompanies these cupcakes in Martha's book. I know it was probably delicious, but I don't think we really missed it. I topped the frosted cupcakes with just a dash of ground cinnamon, which I thought made the cupcakes look more latte-ish.
These ended up being loved by everybody who tried them; the pairing of cupcake and frosting worked very well! I loved the method of steeping the tea bags in milk and then using that milk as the liquid in the cake recipe. This would really be a fun thing to experiment a little bit more with. I dug the spices in the cake, as well. It truly was reminiscent of chai, but a little bit like a pumpkin-spiced cake, too. Not that I'm complaining!
Be sure to see what the other MSCers did with this month's cupcake recipe, by checking out the blogroll, here. Oh, and there's a bonus cupcake recipe this month, Martha's Easter Egg Cupcakes, but I made and blogged about those last year! So if you'd like to see how they turned out, you can see them here.