Friday, March 2, 2012

Cupcake Fail (or, More Baking with Oranges)

Are you familiar with the campfire treat of a cupcake baked in an orange?  I've never actually tried it, but it popped into my mind as I continued to think up uses for the oranges from our extremely prolific tree.  I thought it would be fun to try, though we have no camping plans in the near future and building a campfire in our backyard would be inappropriate.  I vaguely recalled reading that you could make them on a backyard grill.  I checked Cupcake Project for a recipe - success!

At the end of the recipe, there was a brief note that you could bake them in an oven.  Well, that sounded even more appealing than firing up the grill.  The recipe was for a vanilla cupcake, but I decided that I'd make chocolate.  I like orange with chocolate, plus it seemed more creative than actually following a recipe.  (Savvy readers will note the use of foreshadowing.)

I began by choosing three huge oranges.  (Imagine grapefruits instead of oranges.  That size.)  I washed them, cut off the top third or so, then removed the pulp using the Avocado Cutter, which worked very well.

Trevor helped me make chocolate cake batter.  I strained the juice from the orange pulp I'd removed, so that we could replace the liquid in the cake with orange juice.  Because why not change all sorts of variables when you try something new?  (A bit more foreshadowing....)

I wasn't really sure how full to fill the oranges.  I aimed for about 2/3 full.  Maybe 3/4.

Apparently that was too full.  Or maybe the spillage was because of the orange juice in the batter.  Or the size of the oranges.  Or the fact that I didn't provide a support to prevent the oranges from tipping.  It's unclear.  Cupcake fail!

Well, perhaps not a total fail.  I cut the excess off.  Tasty!  The chocolate had a subtle, yet delicious, orange flavor to it.

I topped each orange with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.  They were pretty good.  Not amazing, but good.  And if I hid the cut side, they looked pretty good too.

I'm not going to include a recipe, since mine didn't really work all that well.  (Follow the Cupcake Project link for an actual recipe.)  I'm not sure exactly what my problem was, but regardless it was a very fun experiment.

6 comments:

  1. LOL, I'm a fan of just covering anything with chocolate syrup and whipped cream - it's GOT TO BE GOOD then! :) Great job trying NEW things!! :)

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  2. What a fun way to change things up a little bit! Those oranges are huge! One of those living-in-California perks! I love how you and Trever are always doing fun things together! Thanks for sharing your experiment with us!

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  3. One you overfilled.
    Two you didn't stabilize the oranges, try using a muffin tin to hold the oranges.
    You might also want to take a spoon and scrape the white from the inside as its quite bitter.

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    1. Yes, I was pretty sure I overfilled! These oranges wouldn't have fit in a muffin tin- they are huge. I thought about using foil to stabilize the oranges, but didn't. Lesson learned! The pith didn't transfer any bitterness to the cupcake. I was afraid to scrape too much and not leave a thick enough rind for support. Lots of things to do differently the next time.

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  4. They look really good!! I always love the way you try new things! I am SO BORING when it comes to food!

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  5. I think this sounds really wonderful. I think you should try this again then give us the recipe!

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