Orange Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Cream
3 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup of orange juice (no pulp)
3/4 cup of poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, zest, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
Place eggs and sugar in a mixer and beat on high for 30 seconds until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and oil and mix until just combined.
Add some of the dry ingredients and then the orange juice. Alternate the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry.
Stir in the poppy seeds. Scoop into cupcake papers about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 minutes. Check with a cake tester or toothpick for doneness.
Chocolate Whipped Cream: Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute on high (screw a double boiler, this is just quicker for such a small amount). Stir it, then heat in small increments of time, stirring and watching. Be sure to not let it burn. Stir then let sit for 3-5 minutes. It should still be a liquid and should be warm.
Fold in 1/3 of the cream to the chocolate. Add the reamining cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar if desired.
Pairs Well With
I love poppy seeds. The slighty citric, escapingly nutty little textural fireworks that go off with each pin prick pop make these totally shibby! They dance in your mouth and give you a generous reason to smile. I knew that I had to utilize them in a cupcake that would show them off, and what better way than with an orange poppyseed cupcake?
I made these for Rob's work as he requested a cupcake, so of course I jumped at the chance to finally make these. Paired with orange, you can't help but just say wow with each comforting, edgy bite. The chocolate whipped cream was the right choice to make. Ganache or buttercream or something heavy would have detracted from the cupcake. Here the whipped cream could melt away in your mouth, and the white and brown flecks and swirls were pleasing to the eye. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?
This recipe does ask for a lot of poppyseeds, which can get pricey unless you know where to look. I got mine for about $3 at a local International market. It probably would have cost about $12 at the supermarket. If you know of any little hole-in-the-wall ethnic grocers, I suggest you go there.