Zesty, Fruity, Creamy,Chocolatey – The Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcake and Its Friends From Short & Sweet, Part II

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For all you chocolate orange fans, this is for you!¬† And of course, us cupcake lovers ūüėĬ† I love the way places keep things new and exciting by changing things up and introducing new products into their menus.¬† That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy everyday staples, but it’s really nice knowing that businesses make an effort to keep their clientele and patrons engaged and coming back for more.¬† Whether it’s through seasonal promotions or cooking up new flavours, it keeps the creative juices flowing.¬†

In addition to maintaining the permanent rotating menu at Short & Sweet Cupcakes, the cupcakery kicks off each month with a brand spankin’ new¬†cupcake flavour known as their¬†“Flavour of the Month”.¬†¬†This new flavour is available every day for the duration of the entire month and then taken off the cupcake stands¬†temporarily where¬†a new flavour¬†takes its place.¬† Now,¬†I¬†know¬†what you’re thinking.¬†¬†‘But, but…if I love the flavour so much,¬†I’m going to be heartbroken when they take it away!’¬† I thought the same thing too.¬† And I’m feeling the pressure.¬† I feel terrible for not being able to get my photos developed and scrapbooked in time to keep their “Flavour of the Month” timely, but alas, I am a one-woman show and all I can really do is pass along the “Flavour of the Month” through my blog and twitter.¬† Not to fret though.¬† They do custom orders and they bring back old favourites and best sellers¬†every so often.¬† Case in point: their salted caramel was brought back because of popular demand.¬† So if you¬†LOVE a particular¬†“Flavour of the Month”, let them know!

There are flavour combinations that¬†everyone is familiar with like the back¬†of their hand.¬† Combinations like raspberry chocolate, chocolate mint, peanut butter and jelly, the list goes on.¬† I know for a fact that are MANY who are gaga over¬†chocolate orange.¬† You know who you are.¬† You’ve¬†been on the Terry’s chocolate orange bandwagon since the beginning of time (or maybe just since it became popular worldwide) and you pound those balls of chocolate like you’re unleashing a fit of hysterical fiery.¬† I’ve been there.¬† The kitchen countertops didn’t work for me so I attempted to crack my Terry’s chocolate orange on my kitchen tiles.¬† My parents were scared shitless that I would crack the ceramic with my animalistic attacking.¬† So for those of you who fit that description, you will looooove the “Flavour of the Month” Short & Sweet released in April: orange chocolate chip!

Let me tell you, Short & Sweet continuously and consistently delivers with quality.¬† You are not biting into some artificial pool of flavour when you eat their cupcakes.¬† Their orange¬†chocolate chip is so full of body and substance.¬† The cake base is studded with large chocolate chips with the body and volume resembling a chocolate chip muffin, only less crumbly and, well, better.¬† Their cakes are fantastic because of the way they are able to sustain their own weight.¬† I’ve had other¬†cupcakes that have tasted fantastic, but teetered on the brink of cupcake suicide as soon as I took the wrapper off!¬† Taste is exceptionally important in a cupcake (of course it is – who wants to eat a cupcake that’s dry or stale?), but the form of the cake is just as important.¬† You want to enjoy the cupcake as whole, not in crumbly bits before you’ve even had a chance to take two bites out of it.¬† And the frosting.¬† Oh man, the frosting.¬† You can literally SEE and¬†TASTE the fruity orange zest in the¬†sweet creamy vanilla orange frosting and the whole shebang is topped off with dark chocolate curls.

It lives up to its name and it caters to¬†so many sweet tooths out there.¬† It caters to those who adore chocolate chip muffins, it caters to the orange chocolate obsessed, and anyone who enjoys a mix of zesty, fruit, creamy, and chocolatey.¬† Oh, and for those of you who have taken a particular interest in the photos and who might be wondering how I took these considering the fact that the shop doesn’t have seating…well, I’ve learned¬†to be very¬†resourceful as a food photographer.¬† When in doubt, improvise.¬† And walk around your surroundings.¬† My little cupcake photo shoot was actually¬†taken at the nearby Starbucks ūüėČ

*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is located at 399 Old Orchard Grove, right off of Avenue Rd. south of Wilson Ave. and north of Lawrence Ave. West.  It’s actually a little closer to Wilson than it is to Lawrence, and if you’re taking public transit (like me) the easiest way to get here is to get off at Wilson subway station and take the 96 bus to Avenue Rd. and walk south.  Old Orchard Grove is on the east side of Avenue Rd.  You can also get here by getting off at York Mills subway station and walking west to Avenue Rd. from Yonge.

Scrapbooking materials: olive green and buttercup yellow cardstock (Recollections); patterned paper (The Green Tea stack by DCWV); cooking and baking stickers (Studio18 and Recollections); cupcake embellishments (Jolee’s Boutique); orange slice sticker (Sticko); “Lollipop” alphabet stickers (Autumn Leaves at Creativity Inc.); black and white polka dot alphabet stickers (atd by Momenta).

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Sniff Sniff Hooray! Baking Up a Storm – Almond Orange Cupcakes

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After deciding several days prior that we were going to bake some surprise cupcakes for my grandparents and relatives, my mum and I baked up a storm Saturday morning – 4 dozen cupcakes in less than 2 hours, baby! ūüėĬ† After my¬†first cupcake heartbreak and disaster, I was determined to kick some serious butt.¬† I was in excited conniptions for days, anxiously awaiting to redeem myself – and to just whip out the mixer and measuring cups.¬† Some famous chefs hate baking.¬† I love it.¬† Methodically measuring and sifting and spooning batter is surprisingly soothing and calming.¬† Not to mention it challenges you – to simultaneously be creative and precise at the same time.¬†

After a quickie trip to Bulk Barn last Thursday to nab a few extra things, I had everything I needed to whip up 48 cupcakes.¬† First up on the list: Almond Orange Cupcakes!!¬† They are so awesome that they deserve capitalization.¬† I’ll most likely adjust how long they’re in the oven the next time I bake them (I’ll take them out a few minutes earlier, I think), but oh man are these ever AMAZING.¬† The texture is fantastic with the crunch of almonds and the insides have larger air pockets which make for an airier cupcake.¬† And the smell of orange zest and toasted almonds is divine, oh my lord.¬† My brother loved them, my cousin loved them, and my grandma gasped at how¬†fan-freakin’-tastic (my words, not hers, ha!) they smelled when she¬†opened the container we gave her.¬† I think I redeemed myself just fine with these.¬†¬†As the Gain laundry detergent commerical says, sniff sniff hooray! ūüėÄ

Recipe for Almond Orange Cupcakes

Ingredients (Makes 12)

  • 2 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • grated zest of 1 orange (be careful not to zest the white part of the peel; that part is the pith and will result in bitter cupcakes!)
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons potato flour
  • about 1/3 cup of slivered almonds (you can adjust this amount based on how much almonds you want sprinkled on top of your cupcakes)
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (also known as powdered or icing sugar)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325¬įF, then line the cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat for 5-10 minutes until thick and pale (*note: you’ll need to set the mixer speed higher as setting it on low won’t do the job unless you want to stand at the counter for half an hour).¬† Add the orange zest, then sift the ground almonds and potato flour into the mixture and fold in.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups and sprinkle the slivered almonds over the top.  Bake for about 22 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (*note: I would personally knock a few minutes off to make them even softer).
  4. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.

*****

Recipe taken from Cupcakes by Susannah Blake, 2007.  Photographs taken by me.