March 31, 2012

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

I searched and tried and tested different orange chocolate cakes and this one has been my favourite.  When my brother in laws were coming over to watch football with my other half I naturally headed to the kitchen not the shops (braving the newly opened shopping mall down the road later on in the day (BIG mistake on opening weekend but... apart from my wonderful trip to my first ever in store LAKELAND (heaven)) I should really get on with these amazing little beauties. Moist, rich but not overpowering, and a great flavour of orange throughout. 

These would be great for Halloween using orange and black coloured icing and creepy crawly things to decorate - oooo good idea I must remember it!!!

This recipe is from cupcakegirl's blog - cupcakesmile (tweaked a bit)
mine made 12 regular sized cupcakes 

for the Cupcakes
100g Plain Flour
20g Cocoa powder
140g Caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Zest of 1 orange (large)
40g  unsalted Butter
100ml milk (green or blue top)
1 Egg (large)
Juice of 1 orange (large)
2 tsp Orange extract (Sainsburys does a nice 
Valencian Orange Extract in their Taste the difference range but not online) - if you don't have any in the cupboard or can't find any at the shop don't fret - just use the orange (it just means the orange flavour will be subtle but it will be there!)

Now onto the fun bit - these don't take very long to make (depending on how you decide to decorate them!)
I will follow CupcakeGirls's method, a bit different to normal methods (for me anyway) but hey, less cleaning up so I'm game!

to make the Cupcakes
Line a cupcake tin with cases
Heat oven to 170degCelcius fan

  • In a med/large mixing bowl add the 100gflour, 140gsugar, 20gcocoa, 1.5tspbaking powder, pinch of salt, 40g butter and zest of 1 orange and combine as you would a pastry dough - with your fingers! :) rub together until the mix resembles crumbs

  • Add the orange juice of one orange and mix well.

  • In a separate bowl mix the 100ml milk with one egg and lightly whisk. Add half of the mix to the batter and mix to combine - make sure you get all of the dry ingredients stirred in. Add the remaining milk/egg mix and 1tsp orange extract and mix well. (have a little taste - add more extract if you think it needs it - I added a couple of tsps) 

Pour the mixture into a pourable measuring cup/bowl and fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full - you want to ensure that they don't rise up above the cases (if you overfill the cases with batter they will form into dome shapes which still taste good but limit how you can decorate (i.e. if you want to use fondant)

Bake for 18-20 min and then test to make sure they spring back when lightly touched.  (you can use a toothpick to pierce the middle ones to make sure no batter comes off). If there is some, put back in oven for 2 more minutes and test again. (just don't over bake!)

Leave to cool in tray until cool enough to remove with fingers - don't be tempted to use a spoon or knife to edge them out or the paper could come away from the cake or they could be squished out of shape. When cool enough, move to a rack to fully cool.

for the Buttercream Icing

600g Icing sugar
250g Unsalted butter
2 tbsp milk

(1-2 tsp Orange extract) optional

(40g Cocoa powder) optional
(sprinkles of any sort) optional

To make the Icing
Mix up the icing sugar, butter and milk until nice and fluffy (about 3-5min with an electric beater will do). Then lots of options  - I made 3 different kinds of icing with this mix by separating into three bowls after this stage - make whatever suits you (the more the messier!:)  (quantities above but adjust to suit your tastes - it's hard to muck up the icing bit!)
Plain (no cocoa/no orange/no colour), 
Orange (no cocoa/Orange Extract/Orange food gel/colouring)
ChocoalteOrange   (Cocoa /Orange Extract / no colouring required)
Chocolate (only Cocoa)

Once you have your desired icing made you can pipe, spread, glob, smear it on top of the cakes (only once they have fully cooled - if you are impatient and don't wait the icing might just melt off into a sloppy mess!)
Add some sprinkles or glitter or use fondant to top. All up to you! 

Et voila! enjoy!

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