Friday, April 13, 2012

Blood Orange Cupcakes for the Spring Break !

My quest for experimenting with intriguing produce continues this week. It all started last weekend when I landed myself a bag full of Blood Oranges. I had been thinking a lot in the past about what I can do with the great color & flavor this fruit might have to offer. Finally a combo of unlikely factors - My Son being home for spring break & having not baked a cake for a few weeks let to this simple yet interesting creation.
I have always loved cream cheese frostings, and I asked my son (knowing his love for anything citrus)- How about he helps me in making "Blood Orange Cup Cakes". By the end of the day we had a Happy Toddler & happy Mom situation :)

So lets see how we went about it !

Ingredients: -

For Cupcakes:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon blood orange zest
1 1/2 cup APF
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
A few Chocolate Chips, optional

For Frosting:
1 Cup Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
1 cup extracted blood orange pulp
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon blood orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method for Cupcakes: -
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. 
In a large bowl mix the sugar with the zest till sugar becomes wet. 
At this stage whisk in the APF, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the blood orange juice, butter and vanilla extract. 
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and whisk until smooth–the batter will be quite thin.
Throw some chocolate chips.
Using an ice-cream scooper add batter to muffin tins (lined with plain white cupcake liners), filling each well no more than 3/4rths full. 
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean 
When done place cupcakes on a wire rack for at least 25-30 mins to cool down to room temperature.

Method for Frosting: -
Combine the blood orange pulp, sugar, zest and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and place over medium-low heat for 15-20mins (keep a close eye, don't let it burn). 
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the B.O. pulp begins to breakdown, creating a thick, chunky sauce, about 10 minutes. 
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 
Set the puree' aside to cool to room temperature (at least 30-45 mins)
In a bowl, whisk cream cheese, sugar, blood orange puree'. 
Put this mixture in a ziplock bag and can do frosting as desired.
I cut the bottom of the frosting bag and squeezed out the frosting in circular motion, starting from outer moving to the inner layer and ending at the top.
Really quick and easy :)

These are great when made ahead (at least a few hours) and stored in a tightly covered container at cool room temperature. The flavor grows with time - making in the morning & consuming the evening is a good idea to have balanced results.

Yumm... is what my Kiddo said & by the time my husband arrived from work supplies were diminishing. He helped the cause & things vanished quick :) 

Nothing compares to a feeling of satisfaction that you get when your recipes are adored by your loved ones.
Happy Spring break to everyone...Cheers !

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