Chocolate-Orange Fancy Cupcakes
Cupcakes for my niece!
I just had the inspiration to bake. To start with, I love baking. My niece had asked me to make cupcakes for her the previous year when she visited, but I was too lazy then. Recently, though, I saw some great pictures of cupcakes on Facebook, and they inspired me. So, I thought I should practice before I make them with my niece when she comes to visit again this summer.
I looked up a few recipes on the internet and in my collection of books asnd found one in the cake book: chocolate-orange cupcakes. They looked simple enough. I thought that the flavor should be great- what with the sweetness of chocolate and the contrasting essence of orange. Ummm, it sounds yummy.
This recipe, interestingly, called for unbleached all-purpose flour- different from most cupcake recipes which call for self-rising flour.
The first thing I did was to grate the orange (one whole orange) into a bowl. Setting that aside, I then mixed the Dutch-process cocoa (3 tablespoons) with hot water (1/4 cup), stirring until the cocoa dissolved. Setting that aside, as well,
I sifted the flour (1 1/4 cup) and mixed it with baking powder (1/2 teaspoon), baking soda (1/2 teaspoon), and salt (1/4 teaspoon). Leaving that alone for now, it's time to deal with the liquid.
Whisking 2 large, room temperature eggs. I then mixed with granulated sugar (3/4 cup). I had to mix them well, which is great exercise for your arm! Then, I added buttermilk (1/2 cup) and vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon).
Finally, I added the dissolved cocoa and melted butter (1/4 cup of unsalted, had to be melted then cooled to room temp.)
NOW, I put the sifted dry ingredients and the grated orange peel into the liquid, then I mixed and mixed and mixed.
Okay! I turned on the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While waiting for the oven to heat up, I lined the muffin pan with the paper cups. I filled them with the mixture to about half- or a tiny bit more than that- of the cup.
Time to go into the oven. I set the timer to 10 minutes and cleaned up the kitchen in the meantime. Checking the cupcakes after 10 minutes they were not quite ready, so I set the timer for another 5 minutes. This time, the skewer came out clean...they all looked done.
I cooled them on the wire rack. Now it's time for the frosting.
I melted the chocolate (bittersweet, about 6 oz.) in the microwave for almost 2 minutes and let it cool.
In the meantime, I added icing sugar (2 cups) to the container of the stand mixer and also added the butter (unsalted at room temp.).
I blended them at medium speed for around 3 minutes (until they looked creamy and smooth).
Then, I added the chocolate and blended them again. It took me awhile to do the frosting, so this was enough time for the cupcakes to cool. I filled the pastry bag fitted with the star tip and started to have more fun.
I swirled the frosting onto the cupcakes. I also bought some decorations for the cupcakes (icing flowers, sprinkles,and gummy bears), as well as some M & M and some other chocolate left in my fridge... So, I went wild with the decorating.
I finally put the finished cupcakes in the fridge for awhile to set the frosting.
I had great fun today, baking. The cupcakes turned out looking quite well. And the taste? Not bad!!! Try it and see what you think.
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