I flaked on going out with a friend the other week and promised I’d make it up to him. He decided it that I could make it up by baking something with chocolate and orange. This was when a little light bulb turned on in my head and I remembered a recipe in the Hummingbird Bakery book for Chocolate Orange cupcakes.
The surprising thing about this recipe, however, was that it also used vanilla essence … hmm. I have to admit I was a bit sceptical while making the cupcakes, I thought there would be too many different flavours going on. But, as always, I put my trust in the Hummingbird Bakery and powered through.
The cupcakes were made in the standard Hummingbird way, mixing all the ‘wet’ ingredients e.g. butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence etc. with all the ‘dry’ ones. Once everything was incorporated and the batter was smooth. I used smaller, UK sized cupcake cases and managed to get 24 cupcakes out of the batter.
After twenty minutes in the oven, out came some great smelling, and perfectly flat cupcakes. I was so happy! It’s been ages since they’ve come out looking so nice.
I let them cool and made up the icing, which consisted of icing sugar, butter, cream cheese, orange zest and cocoa powder. Now I’ve finally learnt that you can’t pipe icing with any bits in it, no matter how well you mix it. So I went for the typical Hummingbird Bakery swirl and put a few chocolate stars on each to decorate.
A box of these cupcakes went to work with me the next day, as I seriously doubted my friend could work his way through 24 of them. I got to work at 9am with the intention not to try one, but I caved by 11am and had a cupcake with my tea, for taste testing reasons, of course.
Now I’ve never actually had a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, but the cupcakes taste exactly how I imagine them to be. A colleague actually said they tasted better, and another described the cupcakes as ‘heaven’. Well, you can’t get a compliment better than that!
Personally I really liked the taste and was pleasantly surprised that all the different flavours worked so well. The vanilla essence actually helped to develop the orangey flavour. The icing is beautifully smooth and unbelievably tasty. Definitely one to bake again!