Phew, that is a long blog title! Anyway, let me tell you how it came to be. I’ve been collecting cake recipes to try out for our fifth wedding anniversary (already!) this week. I had originally intended to make this buttercream frosting petal cake. I made a tricolor petal cake for Independence Day as a trial run. Though successful, I didn’t want another sugar overload so soon. Then I thought about a ricotta cake. I found the perfect recipe for ricotta cupcakes here.
I still wanted to try a little something fancy and thought about doing a fun decorative garnish. I had some lovely sweet Valencia oranges on hand, and decided on candied orange peel. There are many recipes found online. Some candied peels are soft and chewy, some are hardened. I was interested in the latter. To make slightly hard peels, simply increase the ratio of sugar to water while making the syrup. Be sure to make the candied peels first, you will need the extra time for them to dry completely. So here is how I did it. The recipe for the cupcakes and frosting follows.
Candied Orange Peel
You will need:
- Valencia or navel oranges (the ones with thick skins) – 2 medium-sized
- Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Water – 1/4 cup
- Wash and pat dry the oranges. Peel the orange skin in long strips using a vegetable peeler. Try to get just the orange skin and not the inner pith (white part). You can leave them as such or use kitchen scissors to cut them in to uniform strips.
- Place the strips of peel in a saucepan and add water to just cover them. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute.
- Strain the peel and run them under cold water. Repeat. (Please do not throw away the water, use them for a DIY stove-top room freshener or to water your plants or something.)
- Place the peel back in the saucepan. Add sugar and water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Give the pan a twirl once in a while to coat the peel uniformly.
- Switch off heat and remove the candied peel onto a foil or parchment paper lined tray.
- Now, if you work fast and get them out all at once, you will get pretty translucent peels. If you leave it in the pan to cool for just a couple of minutes, you will find the sugar crystallized on the peels. Both are fine. It’s your preference. (In the picture, the translucent ones are in the front, whereas the peels at the back were allowed to cool in the pan slightly and crystallize. Both are equally delicious!)
- Let them dry completely and store in an airtight container. Use them as decorative garnish on desserts or as a fun sweet treat!
Note: Use equal parts sugar and water for softer peels. Once done, roll them in some sugar and dry on a wire rack.
Ricotta Cheese Cupcakes With Ricotta Cheese Buttercream Frosting
You will need: (Makes 12 cupcakes)
- Butter – 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp, softened
- Sugar – 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
- Ricotta cheese – 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
- Eggs – 3, large
- Vanilla extract – 3/4 tsp
- Orange zest – 3/4 tsp (The original recipe does not call for zest, but it adds the most amazing flavor to the cupcakes)
- All purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups
- Baking powder – 3/4 tsp
- Salt – a pinch
For the frosting:
- Buttercream frosting – 1 cup (find recipe here)
- Ricotta cheese – 1 tbsp, heaped
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg. F and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
- Sift together dry ingredients and keep aside.
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, at least a minute.
- Add the eggs, ricotta, orange zest and vanilla extract and beat well.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix till just incorporated. Do not over-mix.
- Scoop batter in to the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in to the cupcakes comes out with a few crumbs sticking to it.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare buttercream frosting as usual. Add a heaped tablespoon of ricotta cheese for every cup of frosting and beat for 3-4 minutes till nice and fluffy. Let me tell you, it has the most amazing creamy texture and flavor, though it does tend to become runny fast. Store in the fridge till ready to use.
- Frost the completely cooled cupcakes.
- Place a candied orange peel on top of each frosted cupcake and serve, either at room temperature or chilled.
- Or add colored sugar sprinkles or any other decoration.
But let me tell you, these cupcakes are absolutely divine as such, even without frosting. I guess ricotta cheese might be the next buttermilk or sour cream for cakes and cupcakes.
We enjoyed these cute little cupcakes instead of one big cake. Try making these for your next celebration and wow your family and friends!
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- The Dedicated House
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Better With Age
- Colours Dekor
- Home Stories A To Z
- My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- House On The Way
- Daisy Cottage Designs
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- Not Just A Housewife
- High Heels and Grills
- The Shabby Creek Cottage
- House of Hepworths
- 52 Mantels
- Domestic Superhero
- Living Well Spending Less
- Reasons To Skip The Housework
- Design Dining and Diapers
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
- Common Ground
- Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
- My Romantic Home
- The Charm of Home
- Thirty Handmade Days
- Crafts a la Mode
- Love of Family and Home
- Tatertots and Jello
- Its Overflowing
- DIY Show Off
- Three Mango Seeds
- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn