Chocolate orange cupcakes

My boyfriend has always been a big fan of Terry’s chocolate oranges, and whilst I have always liked them, would never have ranked them all that highly on my favourite chocolate list. But after buying a chocolate orange for him the other week (and eating a couple of pieces myself) I am now newly addicted to the things and find myself frequently craving a segment, or several, (the segment shape definitely adds to the enjoyment!) with a coffee after dinner. Baking chocolate orange cupcakes seemed like the logical and natural progression for such new addictions and cravings. And I think, to prove how fond I am becoming of the chocolate orange combination, whereas I would in almost every occasion err towards less butter-cream than more, finding most to be simply too sickly sweet, and with a flavour that can only be described as ‘sugar flavour’, in the instance of chocolate orange butter-cream, more is definitely preferable to less.

Chocolate orange cupcakes (adapted from Rachel Allen’s Bake)

  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 3tbsp milk
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:

  • 110g butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 350g icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cases.
  2. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl along with the milk. Set the bowl above a pan of just simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the caster sugar and beat again for a couple of minutes until the mixture is fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated into the mix before adding the next.
  5. Beat in the orange zest.
  6. Gently fold in the melted chocolate with a large metal spoon.
  7. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl and fold in gently until combined. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for about 18-20 minutes until springy to the touch.
  8. Leave to stand in the tin for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  9. To make the butter cream, beat the butter in a large bowl until very soft. Beat in the orange zest and cocoa powder. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating between each addition. Beat in the orange juice. When the cakes are cool, spoon of pipe on the icing.

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