Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Orange Cup-Pies!

Hello lovely people!

The winter holidays have started and I finally have time to myself to spend in the kitchen. The last recipe that I shared with you was a spiced olive oil cake with candied orange slices. Well, this recipe is going to use up the extra candied oranges from that recipe (or if you're like me, you'll need to make another batch because the extras didn't last the night...). This recipe is definitely perfect to serve an mini desserts or hors d'oeuvres at any holiday party. These remind me of those delicious Christmas chocolate oranges, but a little extra special. The crust is a deep unsweetened chocolate cinnamon all-butter crust, filled with decadent creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread and topped with bright and flavourful candied orange pieces. Sounds special, doesn't it?

I have a trip to New York planned for later this week, and between now and then my life will be filled with a flurry of shopping, wrapping, and getting together with friends, so this should be the last time you'll hear from me until after Christmas. So I wish you all happy holidays, whatever you may celebrate, and may all your joys be true joys, and all your pain... champagne!

Chocolate Orange Cup-Pies:

-One batch of this crust recipe, 1/4 cup of flour substituted with a 1/4 cup of cocoa, and cinnamon and nutmeg added
-One batch of these candied orange slices, tripled
-One tub of chocolate-hazelnut spread

Preheat oven to 400*F. Grease a muffin tin.
Take chilled pie dough and roll out to 1/8" thick. Cut out circles large enough to fit in your muffin tin. I generally use the mouth of a plastic cup.

Gently press pie dough into muffin cups. Fill with about 1 1/2 tbsp hazelnut spread. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Top with 2 pieces of prepared candied orange pieces.


You could also  cut these out in pop-tart shapes and fill with the spread and orange slices, then brush with an egg wash and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Merry Christmas!

Comment Questions:
1. What's your favourite fruit and chocolate combination?
2. What are you doing for the holidays?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Candied Orange Olive Oil Cake

Merry Christmas everyone!
What is everyone doing for the holidays? Are you hosting? Are you bringing something to a family gathering? Either way, this dessert is sure to be a hit!

Coffee cake is definitely a holiday season staple. So effortless and festive this modern spin on an old classic will surely wow friends and family alike. The candied orange slices and syrup dress up the subtly sweet olive oil cake.

3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus a touch more for tossing with fruit
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of cinnamon

Candied Oranges and Syrup:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 tbsp cardamom (or nutmeg if you prefer)
1 small orange, thinly sliced

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. Bring sugar, honey, cardamom and 3 cups water to a boil in a deep, medium sauce pan. Stir until sugar dissolves then add orange slices.

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, turning orange slices occasionally until tender and syrup is reduced to a little more than 3 cups, about 40 minutes. Arrange orange slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet to cool. Strain syrup.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease an 8-inch spring form pan.
In a large bowl using a spoon, thoroughly combine the olive oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest and yogurt.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the olive oil mixture in two batches, mixing until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with the back of your spoon.
Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Loosely tent the with aluminium foil and continue to bake until the sides of the cake pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 10 more minutes. Pierce hot cake all over with a fork. Drizzle 3/4 cup of syrup over hot cake. Once it's absorbed, add another 3/4 cup. Reserve the remaining syrup for serving.

Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan. Once you're ready to serve, drizzle the last of the syrup over the cake, and arrange orange slices to cover. Serve with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and if you're feeling decadent, whipped cream. This cake is best served warm, but can also be refridgerated with syrup for up to 2 days.