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Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

This No Spend June is working out good so far. I've only had to buy the the basics in this week ... Bread, Milk, Sliced ham for packed lunches. Some more Bananas cause Agent M has devoured the previous loaf of Banana bread and is desperate for more. 
But nothing over and above.

Only problem is I ran out of biscuits. Oh Mama ... how could you?!

So instead of walking into town again to get some treats to add to the boys lunches, I decided to make something for them.

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes!

To start with, I'll tell you all my recipe for Basic Vanilla Sponge.
For all my cakes I use this basic sponge recipe then add to it any 'extras' I want. In this case Orange.

•4oz Self Raising Flour
 •4oz Caster Sugar
 •4oz Soft Margarine
 •2 eggs (at room temp)
 •1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla till its a lovely pale colour. Add in the eggs then the flour and mix together till light and fluffy.

*I use an electric whisk cause I think its easier to make it light and fluffy but you can use a good old wooden spoon and beat the ingredients together.

The timing on the cakes is really dependent on what your baking in for example, cupcakes will take less time than a round cake. A good rule of thumb is to bake in a pre-heated over (mine goes in 180c) till golden brown (always doing the cake test - insert a skewer or knife to the biggest part of the cake and if it comes out clean, your good to go). 
A general approximation is 10-15 minutes for cupcakes and 25 - 30 min for a large round cake.

This mix makes about 12 cupcakes.

The only thing for these cakes you need to add is Orange ... the juice of two oranges and the zest of one to be exact.

I mix it in at the very end and try a tiny bit after the zest and the juice of the first orange *please be careful here cause you are eating raw egg* and see if its strong enough in the taste. You can add all the juice to make them very orange or only one to give a slight hint. Its your call :)

Once your happy, dish out into your preferred container and bake till lovely and golden.

For the icing, You cant beat a bit of Chocolate Fudge now can you? Its rich, creamy and delicious. Its best to make this while the cakes are cooling as it does take a little while for the icing to thicken (does this as it cools)

You'll need
  • 110g butter
  • 90g of chocolate (i used Dark with Orange pieces 'infused')
  • 425g icing sugar
  • 175ml milk.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional if using flavoured chocolate)

Place the chocolate and the butter in a glass bowl and place over a pot of boiling water. Stir till its all melted. *In theory you could melt the two in the microwave together but I've never tried that when making icing so I cant say how long it would take. 10 second blasts would be my best bet.

In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, Vanilla (if using) and 120ml of the milk then gradually add in the chocolate butter mix. Add in the rest of the milk bit by bit until you get it to the thickness you want. I recommend having it thick enough to hold over your head without pouring out if your wanting to pipe the icing. Other wise its gonna be too runny. I always have a little milk left but the amount changes depending on the cake I'm making. I like it thick for cupcakes and a bit thinner consistency to go in a large cake.

Once the cakes and icing has cooled, decorate the cakes as you like :)

Our cakes lasted about a day (keep in mind there was 12!). Nothing I ever bake lasts long in my house cause these two run on a "you snooze you lose" principle but hey, that can only be taken as a complement :)