It is not every day that I have fruit leftover which is slightly spoiled and in need of some attention. I usually can’t get enough of the stuff so it barely makes its way into the fruit bowl before it is completely annihilated. Yes, I just love fresh fruit.
You’d think because of this intro that I was talking about some fabulous fruit haul, like a bumper crop of feijoas or perhaps some juicy plums that had seen better days. Nope, not this time. Just a couple of sad-looking oranges.
My love of fruit of course makes me entirely jealous of people with free-standing houses and the ability to plant fruit trees galore that reproduce and get bigger, and better…year after year. Little ol’ me just lives in an apartment complex. The closest I get to a large supply of fruit is basically relying on the generosity of others! Workmates, mainly.
Anyway, least I know what my priorities are for later in life: 1. Free-standing house, 2. A big garden, 3. LOTS of fruit trees.
Back to the recipe.
There are so many great flavour combinations; I wish I kept a bit of a list. Every now and then I will read some thread where someone goes off on a riff of great combos. If I don’t write it down when I read it, I lose the info.
Orange and chocolate make a pretty delicious combination. Just like dark chocolate and lemon, white chocolate and raspberry, pear and caramel. This is originally a cake recipe which I’ve adapted slightly for a 12-hole muffin tray. The dates only add to the flavour, so if you don’t like them I suggest throwing them into the food processor with the orange and munching them up until they are really small. I really love dates so don’t like them too tiny.
The cake recipe suggests that you ice once baked (and you can do!) but I thought these little rays of sunshine tasted just perfect by themselves. The chocolate square on top adds that extra bit of sweetness and really compliments the orange, skin and all
Golden Orange, Date and Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 a cup of butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 orange
- 1 cup of chopped dates
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda, dissolved in 3/4 cup of water
- Dark, milk, or white chocolate, 12 squares
Cream together the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between additions. Munch up a whole orange in blender (skin and all!) and add to the creamed mixture.
Add the chopped dates (which can be done by popping them in the blender at the same time as the orange), vanilla and salt to the mixture. Stir in the flour and baking soda ( dissolved in the water).
Pour the batter into a lined and greased 12-hole muffin tray and smooth out evenly. Poke a piece of chocolate into the batter of each cupcake. You can smooth the batter over the top of the chocolate if you like but I left mine on top – nice bit of decoration. Bake at 160 degrees for 25 minutes or until cooked (definitely better on the slightly undercooked side!)