Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

2013 is going to be huge. HUGE.

Why? Because I’m a senior theatre major.

AKA I’m an actress going for her dreams and trying to assert herself in the scary exciting world of adulthood.

AHHHHHHH.

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Making cupcakes for comfort. Cupcakes for comfort.

I freaked out this week because I found out the application to audition at a NYC theatre conference was due in 3 days. By mail. However, I realized before buying my overnight delivery that this particular festival just doesn’t seem right for me at this moment. My parents always say that if you have to force something, it’s probably not the right time. So, the plan is that I’m going to go to the New England Theatre Conference in March, and go from there.

Good plan. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside instead of scared and uneasy. Good good good.

The perks of all my freaking out? I pumped out a spiffy head shot and a well-pruned resume. Boom.

Anywho, now that you know my 2013 life story, I do have cupcakes for you.

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What do you do when you have extra swiss meringue buttercream, lots of egg yolks, and a chocolate craving?

Vegan chocolate cupcakes, swiss meringue buttercream, a homemade orange curd filling, and a chocolate drizzle.

Duh.

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I filled these babies up with curd, and put a little dollop on top so you know what you’re getting. Transparency.

You’ve seen these chocolate cupcakes before in my vegan potluck post. Nomnomnom.

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p.s. I LOVE MY CHRISTMAS TREE.

So yeah.

Just fill these cupcakes with some orange curd using whichever filling method you like best, do a swirl of SMB (you can even drop in some orange liqueur or orange extract if you’d like!), do another mini dollop of curd, and add a drizzle of melted chocolate. Boomshakalaka.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Pastry Affair
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
2/3 cup strong brewed coffee
1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add the vanilla extract, vinegar, oil, and water. Mix the batter until smooth.

Divide batter evenly between 12 baking cups (about 3/4 full). Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from baking pan and allow to cool to room temperature.

Orange Curd
Recipe from Martha Stewart

6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Combine yolks, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan; whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula (be sure to scrape sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Let mixture come to a rapid simmer and cook, continually scraping sides of pan, for 2 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. If desired, strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and very firm, at least 2 hours or up to 1 1/2 weeks.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Adapted from Bakers Royale
Makes app. 3.5 cups

5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, sliced and softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.

Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.

Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first—this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.

Add salt and vanilla, mix to combine.

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Definitely be looking out for some showtune cupcakes very soon ;)

Hoping you had a very happy holiday season, and a joyful New Year!!
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7 thoughts on “Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

  1. Wait… So you made your yummy vegan cupcakes, and then filled them up and topped them off with eggs & butter? I’m confused! Unless its because these are the best chocolate cupcakes you’ve ever made, and they just happen to be vegan! That would make me happy!

    • haha yes! i am a vegetarian, not a vegan, but that cupcake recipe is my personal fave at the moment, so i use it for vegan and non-vegan desserts. sorry for the confusion!! :)

      • No confusion! I knew you weren’t vegan. And I was speaking truthfully – knowing these vegan cupcakes are you favortie “go-to” cupcake makes me happy! Have a great year and best of the best to you. My daughter is half way through her first year working on a BA in Musical Theatre, so we love to read about your journey! Thanks for sharing.

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