Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Chocolate and Orange Marble Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Cakes for the fiancé and his friends.  After not being able to find an important ingredient for what I originally wanted to make this week, I gave the fiancé two options for alternatives.  This is the one he chose.  I'll save the other for another day. 

So rather than the traditional chocolate marbled cakes where you have half a vanilla cake mix and half a chocolate cake mix, this is actually an orange flavoured cake mix marbled with melted milk chocolate.  Not chocolate cake.  Chocolate.  It was something I saw in a recipe in a magazine but I just took the idea, rather than using the actual recipe because I wanted to do it my way.  I also didn't have any yoghurt.  I've seen quite a few cake recipes that call for yoghurt recently.  I'll have to investigate and try that out at some point.

Orange buttercream seemed a natural compliment.  The fiancé did ask how it was different from chocolate orange buttercream and I said because it wouldn't have chocolate in it.  It was a bit of a silly question.  And for decoration, more chocolate!  I decided to try making piped decorations and they did turn out rather nicely.  I had far too much chocolate though so I made many more than I actually needed.  Originally I was only going to make a star for each cake but had enough chocolate to do 30 or so stars, 20 hearts, 13 squiggles and 7 names, and still had a little to spare.  So I'll halve the amount when I write the recipe up below. 

They are quite scrummy apparently.  The fiance certainly enjoyed them.  You can really taste the orange and the milk chocolate in the cakes adds a nice crunch.

Recipe - makes 12

  • 115g/4oz caster sugar
  • 115g/4oz unsalted butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 115g/4oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 100g/3.5oz milk chocolate
Orange Buttercream and Decoration:
  • 140g/5oz unsalted butter
  • 280g/10oz icing sugar
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • Orange food colouring
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • 40g/1.5oz milk chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl placed over a pan of simmering water.  Do not let the water touch the bowl and don't let the chocolate get too hot or it will seize.  Stir it occasionally with a spoon.  When melted, remove from the heat and put to one side.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until very pale and creamy.
  4. Add the orange extract and beat in.
  5. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl then add to the butter sugar a little at a time, beating in after each addition.
  6. Sift in the flour and fold into the mixture.
  7. Spoon half the mixture into the cake cases.
  8. Put half the chocolate into the cake cases.
  9. Put the rest of the cake mixture into the cases and top with the remaining chocolate.
  10. Use a cocktail stick to marble the chocolate and cake mix together.  I find a figure of eight pattern works well.
  11. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.  Because of the melted chocolate, it takes a bit longer for them to cook than a normal cupcake.
  12. When baked, remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
  13. Meanwhile melt the chocolate for the decorations.
  14. Spread greaseproof paper on a tray and fill a piping bag fitted with a small, round tipped nozzle with the melted chocolate.  I recommend clipping the bag with a peg just before the nozzle whilst filling to stop the chocolate escaping.
  15. Use the chocolate to make your decorations.  Try and keep the lines fairly thick or they will snap when trying to remove them from the paper.  Keep shapes fairly simple too.  I made stars, hearts, squiggles and wrote names.  I recommend making spares just in case some do break.
  16. Put the tray in the fridge to help set the chocolate.
  17. Make the buttercream by putting the butter, icing sugar, orange extract and orange colouring into a bowl and beating until smooth and creamy.
  18. Put into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe onto each cupcake.
  19. Decorate with chocolate sprinkles then leave to set for a while.  The buttercream needs to firm up or it won't support the chocolate decorations when they are standing.
  20. When the buttercream is quite firm and the chocolate decorations are set, remove the decorations from the fridge and carefully push them into the buttercream.  Try and keep your hands cold and handle the chocolate as little as possible to avoid it melting.

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