Holy cow. Has it really been almost a month since my last post??? Time flies when you're ridiculously, sometimes overwhelmingly, wish I could clone myself a few times so that everything could get done on time busy, I guess.
Summer is non-stop as a personal chef. Besides the holidays, it's the time of year when people are relaxing, gathering, vacationing and celebrating the most. So in between the regular clients I serve during the week I tend to see a huge bump in the number of parties I cater compared to the rest of the year. From May-September it's not uncommon for you to find me in the kitchen seven days a week.
Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life, right?
Um, yeah, no. While I do love what I do, what I do is hard work and a lot of hustle. Naturally, I feel so fortunate and grateful that the risk I took in starting a business is paying off and that this career I have created is actually thriving, but wow am I tired at the end of the day. I mean, just dead. As John is all too aware, nightly foot rubs are freely accepted and greatly appreciated over here.
Sometimes I can be really hard on myself for struggling to keep up with this busy life I have consciously designed; for not always being able to do it all. I'm sure we all know how that goes. But sometimes the part of me that is nicer to myself will chime in and say, "Hey. You're doing the best you can, and you're pretty much kicking ass. Chill out. You deserve a cupcake."
That's what these Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes are all about. If you find yourself in the middle of a constant, daily grind with little end in sight, I advise you to stop and bake yourself some cupcakes. Bright, citrusy, sunny, creme-filled cupcakes that will remind you of a simpler time when you would spend your summers running through the sprinklers and chasing after the ice cream truck for a cool, creamy popsicle. I promise they'll do wonders for your soul.
And make them mini, so that you can eat eight of them in one sitting without batting an eyelash. Because that's really only like, two regular cupcakes, right?
makes about 18 mini cupcakes
for the cupcake batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 Tbsp orange zest
6 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
for the cream filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
for the orange buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp orange extract
1 Tbsp orange zest
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line mini muffin tins with paper cups. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl.
2. In a separate mixing bowl use an electric mixer on medium speed to cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add egg and continue to mix until just incorporated.
3. Combine cream, orange juice, orange extract and vanilla extract in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Set mixer to low speed and blend in 1/3 of flour mixture followed by 1/3 of cream mixture. Continue to add wet and dry ingredients in alternating batches, mixing at each stage until just combined.
4. Divide batter evenly among paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
5. Bake for about 15-18 minutes rotating muffin tins once halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. To make the cream filling, whip 1/2 cup of heavy cream with 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
7. When cupcakes have cooled completely insert a small round pastry tip into each cupcake and push about halfway down, using a twist and scoop motion to remove that portion of cake. Fill the remaining empty well with the whipped cream filling. Repeat for all cupcakes.
8. Prepare the frosting. In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, combine the butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and orange extract until blended. Add the orange zest juice and beat until smooth and creamy. Add more confectioners' sugar or orange juice if necessary until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a pastry tip and pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake.