Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blood Orange Cupcakes

I am loving the citrus that is showing up in the grocery store as of late. While grocery shopping last week, I saw blood oranges. With their bright color and strong orange flavor, I knew they would be lovely paired with some chocolate cupcakes for girls night!

I made chocolate cupcakes using my favorite recipe (so light and perfect for filling). Blood oranges took the place of lemons to make a curd filling and blood orange buttercream topped it all off. While it sounds like a lot of work, it's not too bad as each step is relatively simple.

Chocolate Cake
*makes 24 cupcakes or 3-9 inch round cakes

2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 3 - 9 inch round cake pans. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Spread batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
*via allrecipes

Citrus Curd
*substitute your favorite citrus fruit. Makes enough to fill 24-30 cupcakes

1 cup sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup Meyer lemon juice
5 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

Prepare and ice-water bath. Set a medium bowl in ice-water bath and set aside.
Place sugar and lemon zest in a mortar and grind with a pestle to combine and release the oils. Transfer sugar mixture to a medium heatproof bowl along with eggs and egg yolks; whisk to combine. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until sugar has dissolved. Add lemon juice and continue whisking until mixture is thick and reaches 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add butter and whisk until well combined.
Strain lemon mixture through a fine mesh sieve set over prepared bowl. Cover lemon curd with plastic wrap, pressing plastic wrap directly onto surface. Transfer to refrigerator until completely chilled
*from Martha Stewart

Citrus Buttercream
*you may substitute any citrus for the blood oranges

zest & juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup icing sugar, plus 2-3 cups
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened

Combine 1/4 cup icing sugar with lemon zest in a mortar and blend to release the citrus oil. Place orange icing sugar and butter in a bowl and beat to combine. Add 1/4 cup of icing sugar and the orange juice. Blend. Add the vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of icing sugar. Blend. Add milk and 1/2 cup icing sugar. Add icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.

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