Tuesday 18 April 2017

Oil Cake - Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes

This was a bit of an experiment, after a load of on-line reading about the pro's and con's of oil vs butter in cakes. When I did my bake-sale dissection, it was notable that butter is one of the more expensive ingredients...it's in everything! Some cakes I've done tend to use oil instead of butter (typically stuff like carrot cake, which is super-moist)...so I set about coming up with a recipe that used oil, and as a guinea-pig, I went with the good old cupcake.

While it's easy to think of butter as a block of pure fat, it's actually 15-20% water (and you want to look for butter with low water content)...based on this, swapping in sunflower oil means that you probably want less. Most recipes I saw also had slightly less sugar than normal, and slightly more flour. The flour makes sense, as you're going to have a runny mixture. After a bit of fiddling, I came up with a mixture, and gave it a go...and it came out pretty well! They rose well, good smooth top, and a nice light texture. I probably should have put more cocoa powder in, as they were not that chocolatey. For a topping I made some basic buttercream, flavoured with some orange oil essence, and then I made a chocolate water icing and drizzled it over the top.

Oil Cake Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes - Recipe

  • Pre-heat oven to 150'C

Sponge Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125ml sunflower oil
  • 15ml milk
  • 25g cocoa powder (could add more, but reduce the flour by the same amount!)

1) Place the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

2) Beat until smooth

3) Add the oil and milk, and beat again until smooth

4) Add the flour and cocoa powder, and mix until just smooth (don't overdo it)

5) Split the mixture evenly between 12 muffin cases (I did 45g a case)

6) Bake in the oven for 20 minutes

7) remove to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating

Orange Buttercream Ingredients

  • 150g butter (room temperature)
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1tsp orange essence
  • Splash of milk
1) Place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

2) Mix slowly until a firm icing is formed

3) Add the orange essence and a small amount of milk, and beat hard

4) Continue to add milk and beat hard until a smooth, pipeable consistency is reached. Be very sparing with the milk, you want just enough.

5) Transfer the icing to a piping bag with a semi-closed star nozzle

6) Pipe generous swirls on each cake

Chocolate Water Icing Ingredients

  • 3tbsp icing sugar
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder
  • Small amount of water
1) Place the sugar and cocoa in a ramekin

2) Add a small amount of water, and stir in

3) Carefully add small amounts of water while stirring vigorously until a thick, glossy paste forms

4) Transfer the paste into a small piping bag, and snip off the end

5) Drizzle the chocolate paste over the cakes in loops