Califia’s Cupcakes came in First Place in the “Stuff In Them” category in our first annual Cupcake Cook-off. Her cupcakes were amazing, and now you can impress your friends with delicious home-made treats!

for 1 dozen:

1 med. orange
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs orange marmalade
6 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup OJ

1 cup whipping cream
4 Tbs unsalted butter
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (good quality choco chips work just fine)
3 Tbs Grand Marnier (or another orange liqueur, or OJ)
1 Tbs frozen OJ concentrate

a muffin tin lined with 12 cupcake papers.

heat oven to 350F.

Peel the orange and put the rind in a food processor with 1 Tbs sugar. Blend until minced and combined. Add the marmalade and puree. (Scrape the sides periodically.)

Cream the butter with the orange puree and the vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Combine the dry ingreds. in a small bowl and add in two batches, alternating with OJ (beat after each addition). Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake cups. Bake until just barely golden and spongey, about 12 minutes. Let cool.

For the frosting, heat the cream and butter until simmering. Turn the heat to very low and add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the remaining ingreds until well combined. Pour the frosting into a bowl and freeze it until firm and spreadable, about 35 minutes. (Stir it thoroughly every 10 minutes or so.)

Smear the frosting on the cupcakes. Work quickly or the frosting will solidify on you. Garnish with candied orange peel, or fresh raspberries are tasty, too.

Enjoy and thanks!…Califia

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