Oh, there’s nothing like a spot of Christmas-themed baking! With festive tunes to set the mood, I had a blast concocting this recipe today. Essentially, they’re chocolate orange cupcakes, and you could leave them at that at any other time of the year. But now that it’s December, why not go that little bit further? Not that many people actually like Christmas pudding (children in particular), but I think it’s highly unlikely that anyone won’t like these yummy chocolate orange cakes!
Everyone eats more chocolate at Christmas time, and oranges are also a traditional favourite (well, you’ve got to balance out all the chocolates somehow, haven’t you?), and together, they make a distinctly festive flavour combo. With the orange glacé icing too, these cakes have a lovely intense flavour. What makes these cupcakes extra special is the cheeky chunks of Terry’s Chocolate Orange inside – from the outside they look like plain chocolate cakes, and then you bite in and WOAH!
Hello, chocolate orange. You are a pleasant surprise. These mini Christmas puds make a lovely change to the usual cakey offerings at festive parties, and are guaranteed to go down a treat with all ages. In order to make them look like Christmas puddings, I didn’t use muffin cases, so it’s crucial to grease your muffin tray reeeeaaally well. I mean really well. Of course you could use muffin cases, but they would look less like Christmas puddings (but would still be delicious!) And don’t forget to take your egg and butter out of the fridge well in advance. It makes nine cupcakes.
Ingredients – Cake:
50g dark chocolate
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
40g softened butter
The zest of 1 orange
1/2 a Terry’s Chocolate Orange
Icing and decoration:
250g (ish) icing sugar
1 tsp custard powder
1 tbsp (ish) orange juice or water
9 dried cranberries/red smarties/red sweeties
A few little green leaves (washed)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a muffin tray (really well!)
2. Melt the chocolate – either in the microwave on low power, stirring frequently, or in a bowl over simmering water. Leave it to cool slightly while you carry on with the recipe.
3. Measure out the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa and orange zest in a bowl and mix together with a handheld electric mixer, gradually increasing the speed until there are no lumps of butter and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4. In a jug, whisk the milk, egg and melted chocolate together by hand. Don’t worry if the chocolate doesn’t completely combine and it’s not perfectly smooth.
5. Stir the wet mix into the dry until just combined, then spoon it into the muffin tray until each is about 2/3 full. Break each segment of Terry’s Chocolate Orange into about three bits, and lay them on top of each cake (one segment’s worth for each).
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and go round the side of each cake with a palate knife. Leave in the tin until completely cool and then place them on a drying rack (trying to remove them early will probably result in broken cakes. Which is jolly sad.)
7. Once cool, make the icing: sift your icing sugar and custard powder (to thicken it), then add orange juice in tiny bits until the desired consistency has been reached. It should be quite thick so that it will droop down the sides a little bit, but not completely run off. Spoon a bit on to each cake, and top with a red sweetie and leaves to look like holly.