Friday, October 26, 2012

At Home: Grand Marnier Chocolate Cupcakes

This was my first time ever baking cupcakes.  I've never even made them from a box, let alone from scratch.  I researched and researched and mixed and matched bits and pieces to come up with something I liked.  We were going to a party, so I thought I would spike the frosting for the adults and make Grand Marnier Chocolate Cupcakes.  The chocolate and orange combination was also appropriate for Halloween.  Check out my next dessert creation on What Micky Eats...At Home.


Grand Marnier Chocolate Cupcakes (Makes 12)
Cupcakes:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teasp baking powder
  • ¼ teasp fine salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teasp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup baking unsweetened chocolate, melted



- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes.
- While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.
- While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk and the melted chocolate, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin (about 1/3 cup batter per cupcake.)
- Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.


Frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest (from one large orange)
  • 1 pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teasp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 1 Tbsp milk



- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.
- Slowly add in powdered sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
- Add orange zest, salt, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Blend on low speed until moistened.
- Add milk and beat until thoroughly combined. (If frosting is too thick, gradually add a bit more milk until the desired consistency is reached.)
- Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
- Decorate as you like.


The orange liquor was accented by the flecks of orange zest and tasted so great with the chocolate.  For even more orange color, you could add in orange gel coloring, but I don't usually care for artificially colored frosting and didn't have any gel on hand, so I didn't use it.  I did have some black sugar crystals to sprinkle on top, which made these cupcakes super cute!  Since there were children (and a pregnant lady) at the party too, I made half of the cupcakes without the alcohol and distinguished those with purple sprinkles.   I was happy with how they came out and the cupcakes were a huge hit at the party.  Now, I just need to practice my decorating skills and try out other cupcake flavors. ;)


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