You wouldn’t think that such a sweet, innocent-looking cupcake could cause so much trouble but it did!
A few weeks ago, the kids’ Cub Scout camp was called off and I was given a bag of oranges and I started having grandiose visions of Duck a l’orange which soon got knocked down to size and tonight I found myself baking a Quick-Mix Orange Cake from one of my Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks. This is a very simple recipe. You just throw all the ingredients into the mix master at once and switch it on. Simple Simon. A cake so easy, the kids could make it without any intervention from me. That is, aside from grating the orange peel. When it comes to the kids, grating is a vicious activity which usually draws blood.
Anyway, being the very competent and capable multitasking sod that I’m not, I decided to make the orange cake while I was cooking dinner. While this might have been good time management or at least appeared that way ahead of time, I really struggle to do two things at once and added to the challenge, I was mentally doubling the mix and some of the maths can get a bit complicated. I was having trouble measuring out the butter…adding, subtracting. I had multiple packets of butter needed to double the amount. Tricky! I must have been tired.
Anyway, while I was attending to the gourmet pork and leek sausages or perhaps I was boiling the potatoes when a glob of mixture hit me in the forehead. I’d only turned my back on the mix master for a few instants and for some bizarre reason a only happened once in the history of all my baking event took place. The mixture had spiraled up the side of the bowl drawn by centrifugal force and kept spinning all over the kitchen bench, splattering across the microwave, all over the kitchen bench and even jumped across time and space to splatter down the tablecloth half a metre away. My Quick-Mix Cake had become some kind of feral bomb required extensive cleaning up and I mean extensive! I bet this never happened in the Australian Women’s Weekly Test Kitchen. Their recipes are triple-tested but they’ve never had to stand up to the likes of me before. I unwittingly manage to achieve the impossible.
I don’t need to tell you that it wasn’t all disappointment. Lady, our much beloved little black dog, appeared out of nowhere to assist with the clean-up. Now, I’ll have to clean-up after the cake and the cleaning squad. As much as I love the dogs, dog germs are another story.
Even though this experience might not be the best endorsement for this recipe but it did taste great. I suspect I just mucked something up when I doubled the ingredients. This is the double-mix.
Quick-Mix Choc Orange Cupcakes – Based on The Australian Women’s Weekly
310g butter (250g packet + 60g)
4 teas finely grated orange rind (approx. 4 oranges)
11/3 cups castor sugar
2 cups Self Raising Flour
1/2 cup milk
1) Take butter out of the fridge about 30 minutes beforehand.
2) Take a 12 hole muffin tin and line it with muffin cases.
3) Turn oven on to moderately high around 180 degrees celsius.
4) Finely grate the rind of about 4 oranges. Be careful not to grate the yellow pith underneath as this is sour.
5) Sift flour.
6) Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
7) Turn your electric mix master onto low speed and mix until all the ingredients are combined. You don’t want to turn the speed up too fast too soon especially if the butter is still firm or your baking efforts will turn into a flying circus.
8) Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes or until the mixture has changed colour and is nice and smooth.
9) Using a dessertspoon, dollop mixture into the muffin cases until they are about 3/4 full.
10) If you are not wanting to ice them, you can sprinkle chopped macadamia nuts over the top or some coconut.
11) Bake the muffins for about 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clear.
Chocolate Orange Icing
I decided to make chocolate icing as a special treat for the kids and added a few squeezes of orange juice. I hope they like it. You could well ask how I could go wrong with chocolate but you don’t know my kids!
90g milk or dark chocolate depending on your preference.
1 cup of sifted icing sugar
a few squeezes of orange juice
a little hot water
Making this icing is not a precise science.
1) Place the chocolate in a medium sized bowl and melt in the microwave for about a minute. My butter was so soft that it didn’t need to be melted but it can be melted in with the chocolate.
2) Sift icing sugar into the chocolate mix. Stir well making sure there aren’t any lumps. If it goes lumpy, smooth it was your hand mixer.
3) Add a few squeezes of orange juice. You can also do this while stirring in the icing sugar if the mix is too dry.
4) Add sufficient hot water to give the icing a firm, spreading consistency. You want it to stay put on top of the muffin without dribbling down the side.