Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chocolate Grand Marnier Cupcakes

Happy Tuesday!  I'm excited to finally have another cupcake recipe to share with you.  I've wanted to try these Grand Marnier Cupcakes from the moment I saw them posted over at My Baking Addiction nearly two years ago.  After my husband and I first got married, while we were still in college, I worked in the bakery at The Fresh Market for several months.  Near the end of my time working there a new dessert was introduced.  It was the most delicious and beautiful layered chocolate mousse that was flavored with a hint of Grand Marnier.  It was absolutely divine.  When I first came across these Grand Marnier Cupcakes I was reminded of that decadent mousse and have kept these cupcakes in the back of my mind ever since.  I just had to make them!

I probably would have made these many, many months ago if I was in the habit of keeping expensive Grand Marnier on hand.  I had never bought any until I purchased a bottle recently to use in a mimosa recipe I was serving at my Swap Party.  Having plenty on hand, I remembered these cupcakes and jumped at the opportunity to make them.

I made this last weekend and took them to a birthday party the hubby and I were attending.  To say they were a hit may be an understatement.  I received hugs from strangers thanking me for the delicious cupcakes and there were quite a few praises coming from the kitchen throughout the evening where they were being served.

These cupcakes start with a tender and moist chocolate cake that is filled with a generous amount of creamy Grand Marnier-infused ganache and then topped with a mound of buttercream that has been flavored with orange zest and, you guessed it, more Grand Marnier.  For anyone who enjoys the combination of chocolate and orange these will be irresistible.

You can follow this recipe as is or substitute your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe for the base.  Be aware that the batter for this recipe will be very, very runny.  It's a bit of a pain to work with, but the result with be a very moist and tender cake.  If you prefer a more dense and substantial cupcake, I suggest perhaps using this recipe (omitting the miniature chocolate chips) instead.

Chocolate Grand Marnier Cupcakes
via My Baking Addiction on Three Many Cooks
makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
3. Using a large scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
4. Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake; I use an apple corer because I am anal and obsessed with symmetry.
For the Ganache
5 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1. Place chocolate in a large heat safe bowl.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth and glossy. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Allow ganache to cool at room temperature for about 1 hour.
3. Pipe or spoon the ganache into each hollowed cupcake and top with buttercream.
For the Buttercream
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Zest of one large orange (about 1 tablespoon)
pinch of fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1-3 tablespoons heavy cream
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
2. Add orange zest, salt, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and beat until thoroughly combined. If frosting is too thick, gradually add in more heavy cream until the desired consistency is reached.  Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and decorate with gum paste flowers.*
These cupcakes are best served the day they are made; however, they will keep covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Allow cupcakes to come to room temperature for 45-60 minutes before serving.

*Click here for a tutorial on how to make your own gum paste flowers.

I used an Ateco 809 round tip to frost these cupcakes.

1 comment:

  1. These sound amazing! I've made Grand Marnier truffles before but never cakes. Will have to try this recipe out soon :) xx


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