Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It has fruit on it, so it must be good for you!

I know it's been a while, but I don't have a kitchen at school, so really the only time I get to bake is when I come home, so just get over it. Today's recipe was Orange-Vanilla Bean cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and topped with homemade candied orange slices. This sounds like a very Martha-esque recipe, and trust me it is. But I think it was well worth the time and effort. The cupcakes themselves were actually kind of dense, almost like pound cake. But not quite THAT dense. However, the buttercream frosting was the lightest most amazing frosting I've ever had, and I will never make any other kind of buttercream again. TRUTH.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream (I added a bit more, probably 1/4 cup more)
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (FRESH FRESH FRESH!!!)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (i stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, halved length-wise, seeds scraped and reserved
2 large eggs
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature (yes... an entire pound of butter makes the fluffiest lightest buttercream frosting I've ever enjoyed... I don't get it either)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Candied Orange Slices:
2 small navel oranges
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
INGREDIENT NOTE ABOUT CANDIED ORANGES: I doubled the water and sugar and put the oranges in a wider pot. The doubling of these ingredients allowed me to candy more slices at a time, and since they took forever, I recommend doing that.
So yes. It's a lot of ingredients, a lot of elements to one cupcake, and A WHOLE LOT OF BUTTER, but in the end, they look super fancy and are quite tasty. Honestly, the most difficult part of this whole endeavor, was the buttercream frosting. It takes a lot of time beating in the mixer before it begins to look fluffy and, well, like frosting. I must admit I got really frustrated with that stinking buttercream. But boy, did it rock on those cupcakes. Martha wanted me to level off the tops of each cupcake so that the orange can lay flat on the top of it but I said HELLS TO THE NO to that. I'm not about to spend all day making cupcakes just to cut half of it away. So my solution to all of this was simple. First I spread a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cupcake, just to give my piping a base. Then I piped little beads over top of the whole cupcakes, like so:

and then they looked like this!

ADORABLE!!! I honestly couldn't get over them. Then you just add your little candied orange slices, and you are good to go. You have even fancier cakes than Martha herself!

And they are quite delicious too, let me tell ya!

So yes, they are a bit time consuming, but if you're giving them away, they sure do bring in the compliments! Everyone I handed them too couldn't help but "ooooh" and "ahhhh" at these little cakes. So enjoy the cakes, and take pride in your hard work.


Madhura Manoj said...

Looks yummy...

Anonymous said...

Yikes! This is for idiots? But they look gorgeous and I bet they tast great. I saw your post on Sienna's "Hon What's for Dinner" and I think I'll follow you now....hope you'll follow me too? It's good to make new friends, right?
- Haupi

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