Hotel Chocolat

We’ve been given a box of chocolates, made by hotel chocolat and I have yet to find one that I don’t like out of the assortment. This doesn’t happen that often with a box of chocolates, eventually you’ll bite into one that will make you go “ugh”.

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Chocolate orange cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting

These cupcakes are fluffy yet moist and the chocolate and orange taste lingers in your mouth for a long time after you’ve devoured your cupcake. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 and ¾ cups of plain flower
¼ cup of good unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2/3 cup of light brown sugar
150g of dark chocolate (75% cocoa) chopped into small pieces
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp real vanilla extract
½ tsp orange essence
zest of one orange
1 tsp of ground all spice

Preheat the oven to 200° C (or gas mark 6) and fill a muffin tray with paper cases. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and carefully mix it all together. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
Spoon the batter into your paper cases (about 2/3 full).
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check with a wooden skewer if they are done (if it comes out with no crumbs on it they are ready!).

Orange butter cream frosting (for 12 cupcakes):

75g of soft butter
1 and ½ cups of icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange essence
zest of one orange

You really need a kitchen machine for this or at least an electric whisk. Put the butter into a mixing bowl and whisk on low speed until the butter is fluffy (takes about half a minute). Add the icing sugar, milk, vanilla and orange essence. Blend with the mixer on low speed until all the sugar is incorporated. Slowly increase the speed and mix for another couple of minutes. If the frosting seems too stiff you can add another tsp milk. Finally whisk the orange zest in. Use a piping bag to decorate your cupcakes.