A Nip and a Chocolate Chip

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I love chocolate and orange. Inspired in part by Probably This’ Chocolate Chip Grand Marnier Cake, this is a light, gluten-free chocolate chip and orange cupcake. They are topped with a lighter version of my vanilla buttercream frosting – where I use whole milk in lieu of cream – and a dark chocolate and Grand Marnier ganache.

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Chocolate Chip Orange Cupcake yield: 24 cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I’m using Krusteaz Blend, but your favorite blend, or all-purpose flour would work just fine)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 six-ounce container vanilla yogurt (not greek)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • zest from two oranges
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips + 1 tbsp gluten-free flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl, combine the yogurt, butter, sugar, zest, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until it comes together. Toss the chocolate chips in 1 tbsp of flour and fold them in.

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Using a 1/4 cup measure – or two large spoons, as I’ve recently found helpful – fill each cupcake liner and bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (though some melted chocolate may be attached).

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Let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

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Lighter Vanilla Buttercream Frosting yield: enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4-5 tbsp whole milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for at least 3 minutes on medium-high speed, until nearly white in color. Add in 2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, mixing on low to incorporate. Increase speed and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes longer. Add the remaining 1 1/2 – 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the sugar.

Frost the cupcakes and refrigerate them prior to topping them with the chocolate ganache (it helps the ganache cool more quickly)

Dark Chocolate Grand Marnier Ganache yield: more than enough to decorate 12 cupcakes

  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp Grand Marnier orange liqueur
  • 1 tbsp butter

Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat the cream until at a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute. Add in the Grand Marnier and butter, stirring until smooth and glossy. Drizzle over the cupcakes.

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