I so wanted to make the Japanese green tea sponge cake with a light whipped cream filling with red beans when I saw the theme. It was a dessert I enjoyed at the Sun Moulin cafe in Singapore but I could not find powdered macha in time. Sorely disappointed at myself for my last minute preparation, I was literally tearing my hair out trying to think of something sweet to make for this event. Seeing the abandoned pack of rosehip and hibiscus tea (this was a mistake buy - the tea turned out very sour and none of us liked it but could not bear to throw it out), I decided to make use of it, to see whether it could redeem itself.
Since my brother's classmates were in the house studying, I thought of making cupcakes as a treat. Since they were individually sized, it would also be convenient to eat. Using the vanilla cupcake recipe I had success with before, I adapted it somewhat, to accomodate the theme. I substituted 1/4 cup of milk required with a concentrate made from 2 of the teabags, and replaced the cup of granulated sugar with equal amounts of brown sugar and molasses sugar. Although the tea was sour, I did not add additional amounts of sugar because I figured the frosting could balance things out. Wrong! Fresh out of the oven, the aroma was somewhat lacking and even though the toothpick test was passed with flying colors, the texture was not crumbly, like cake, but rather, it looked somewhat dense, like texture of the Japanese sponge cheesecake. The tea was overpoweringly sour so without the frosting, the feedback was that more sugar would be appreciated please! I also added some tea dust into the frosting so you get nice speckles throughout. Overall, cupcake was just all right, nothing spectacular to share so no recipe will be included :)