One of the absolute coolest things about being a writer is linking up with other writers and seeing them succeed. That may seem very Pollyanna of me, but it’s true: I love celebrating my friends’ achievements, and I’m more than happy to toot their horns for them.
You’ll remember my friend Redd from Salted Spoon; she was a guest blogger for the 12 Days of Cookies, and she shared with us her snickerdoodle recipe. Redd has been blogging for a little over a year, and she has released her first eBook, a collection of her best recipes from her first year of blogging.
Redd put out a call on Facebook several months ago, asking friends if they would mind testing recipes for her. I had no idea what they were for, but I jumped at the opportunity and picked a few recipes to test for her. Hands down, my favorite was for Buttermilk Cupcakes with Orange Zest and Chocolate Ganache. I mean, who on God’s green earth doesn’t love ganache? Right? These cupcakes are moist, with just a hint of sweet tang, and the ganache is bittersweet and rich. I added a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten it up, but it’s lovely as is.
Thankfully, that recipe made it into the book, and Redd gave me permission to share it with you. I’ll also be giving away a free copy of her eBook once they become available (her publishing contract with Amazon prohibits free copies for the first 90 days). But to hold you over until then, you can make these delightful little cupcakes, or (even better) buy a copy of Redd’s book, Salted Spoon: The First Year of Creating a New Food Legacy, available on Amazon.
Buttermilk Cupcakes with Orange Zest and Chocolate Ganache
From Salted Spoon: The First Year of Creating a New Food Legacy (Redd Horrocks)
For the cupcakes:
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Zest of one small orange
For the ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 oz good quality dark chocolate
Zest of one small orange
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups, or heavily butter the individual cups.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla, then the buttermilk and orange zest carefully, then the sifted dry ingredients. Fold gently together until just combined. Try not to overmix the batter. This recipe is best done by hand. It’s easy to overmix with a mixer.
Pour the batter into the muffin cups. You’ll be using about 1/4 cup of batter for each one. Bake for about 21 minutes, but keep a close eye after 18 minutes. You want the cupcakes cooked until the top just springs back when touched. Keep a watchful eye!
When the cupcakes have baked, set them aside to cool. When they are close to being cooled or room temperature, make the ganache.
Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium to low heat until it is just simmering. Put the orange zest and chocolate in a wide heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and zest, and let sit for a minute or two, then gently stir the mixture to combine. The heat from the cream should melt the chocolate entirely. When it is mixed all the way, take a cooled cupcake, hold it upside-down, and then dip the top in the ganache, making sure it is all coated, and giving it a little twist as you raise it out. Then let them sit and cool. You’ll likely have extra ganache which will store well in the freezer and is fantastic to cut off little bits and satisfy mini chocolate cravings, or you can chill it and roll it into truffles.
Sink your teeth into one or two of them. Share them with co-workers. Rave about them to your friends. Or eat them all yourself. There are eggs and fruit in there, so it counts as breakfast, right?
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Make sure you check out Redd’s eBook and get a copy for yourself!