Monday, December 3, 2007

Grand Marnier Cupcakes

If you like orange and chocolate together, you have GOT to try these! They are so yummy (I would know, I'm eating one as I type this blog entry!)
I made these for the bridal shower I co-hosted on Saturday. I thought they were perfect since the wedding colours are pink, gold, and chocolate brown - these pretty little cakes incorporated the gold and brown quite nicely.

If you don't have Grand Marnier (or you don't drink/use alcohol), you can use orange juice. I got really lucky and found just enough left in a bottle of GM at my parents' house :) Another tip, if you have a good liquor store nearby or a BevMo, you can sometimes find the mini bottles of Grand Marnier. So much cheaper than buying a huge one! Unless, of course, you like to add it to your margaritas! ;)

These make me think of Christmas - we always get those Chocolate Oranges for Christmas (English thing...) and these have that yummy chocolate-orange combination. I might have to throw down the cash for my own bottle of GM (instead of mooching off mum and dad!) and make some for Christmas Eve!

Makes 12 Cupcakes

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp. finely grated orange peel
1 tsp. Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 tbsp. Grand Marnier

3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. vegetable shortening

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular muffin pan with liners.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 3/4 cup sugar at medium speed 5-6 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg, 1 tbsp. orange peel, and 1 tsp. Grand Marnier.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. At low speed, beat sour cream into the butter mixture alternatively with the flour mixture. Spoon the batter into the muffin liners, filling two-thirds full (an ice-cream scoop is your best friend for this!)

4. Bake the cupcakes 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

5. While the cupcakes cool, make the glaze. Heat 1/3 cup sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier.

6. Poke holes in the top of each cupcake using a toothpick. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of each cake liberally with the Grand Marnier glaze.

7. Now you will make the chocolate topping. Place the chocolate in a small heavy Zip-Lock bag; add shortening and seal. Place the bag in a pan of simmering water and turn off the heat. Allow the bag to sit for several minutes; remove from the water. Smooth melted chocolate by working the bag with your hands. Cool 5 minutes. Cut off a tiny corner of the bag; drizzle chocolate over the cupcakes.


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