Chocolate Orange Marble Cupcakes

So I have to confess that I have spent the weekend basically just drooling over the new Smeg UK Stand Mixer. It's just so bloody pretty, but there is only so many times you can look at such a thing without getting the urge to bake so I took myself off to my mediocre crappy kitchen utensils and let loose in the kitchen. I actually baked twice this past weekend so I'll share the other recipe soon- in other words look forward to finding out how to make my favourite M&Mmmm Pie.

But first, cupcakes:

Clearly the pink icing doesn't make much sense but I ran out of Orange food colouring *oops*
It's a little Halloweeny don't you think?
 I looked every where for a decent chocolate orange cupcake recipe but none of the ones I found really wowed me so I decided just to make it up as I went along and this was the result. You can use this recipe to make pretty much any flavour of cupcake you just have to know when and where to make substitutions :-). I'm thinking strawberry and white chocolate next!!

Okay enough chat, here we go:

For Cake:
125g Plain Flour
1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
100g Unsalted Butter (or dairy free alternative)
100g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
19ml Orange Extract
25g Cocoa
75g Milk Cooking Chocolate
10g Orange Gel Food Colouring

For Decoration:
440g Icing Sugar
110g Unsalted Butter (or dairy free alternative)
1 Pinch of Salt
19ml Orange Extract
2 1/2 Tbs Golden Syrup
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
75g Milk Cooking Chocolate
10g Orange (or in this case Red) Gel Food Colouring
Terry's Chocolate Orange mini segments
Sainsbury's Glimmer Sugar in Gold to sparkle!!

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 170 degrees

In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together then set aside while you work on the wet ingredients.

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until smooth-I used a boring old hand held mixer and a wooden spoon :-( whilst dreaming of that stand mixer.
Once smooth beat in the 2 eggs and the orange extract (most bottles come in 38ml so just use half the bottle).

Bring back the dry stuff and mix it into the wet mixture a large spoonful at a time. Use a mixer for this if you can as the mixture can become a little stiff.

Once all the ingredients are combined it's time to separate them into two bowls- put half in one bowl and keep half in the one you are using.

To one bowl add 25g of cocoa and 75g of melted chocolate (1 minute in the microwave should do it) and stir until the chocolately goodness is undeniable!
To the other, add 10g of Orange food gel and stir-that was someone easier :-p

Place cupcake cases in a cupcake tray (we like a nice deep one) and spoon in the mixture one colour at a time. We put chocolate in the bottom then added orange on top.
Once the two colours are in each case use a skewer to slightly mix the colours together to create the marble effect.

Pop in the oven for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned.

Now you just have to leave them to cool for around 10-15 minutes before they are ready to decorate.

For Decoration:

In one large bowl (we washed and dried as we went along here because seriously you need so many bowls for this recipe *haha*) add the icing sugar,salt and the softened butter together and mix on the lowest speed other wise you'll look like you've got a really bad coke habit.
Once they are both fully mixed together you can add the orange and vanilla extracts to the mixture along with the syrup. 

And now it's time to separate them again: you know the drill half in one bowl half in the other.

To one bowl add 75g of melted chocolate and stir well.
To the other add 10g of your chosen gel food colouring.

It's really up to you how you decorate from here: we used a small star nozzle to pipe on the pink, which we did around the edges of the cake and into the middle. Once every cake had been pinked we popped them in the fridge to set for a minute or two.

Use the cooling time to wash out your piping bag ready to be filled with the chocolate icing.

For the chocolate we changed the nozzle to a slightly bigger star so we could have a noticeable peak and filled in the top part of each cupcake.

And that's it really- all that's left to do it pop a Terry's Chocolate Orange segment on top and sprinkle with your glimmer sugar et voila...

Pop them back in the fridge for 5 minutes and then enjoy!

These are so yummy and I can't wait to try different flavours. What flavours would you try, and would it be weird if I just started dusting all my food with edible glimmer sugar?

Happy Baking :-)

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