Showing posts with label orange. Show all posts
Showing posts with label orange. Show all posts

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chocolate Orange Muffins #MuffinMonday

Bitter orange marmalade, cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate chips make a great muffin that will remind the fans of chocolate oranges of their favorite stocking stuffers. 

As we head into December and Christmas draws nearer, my muffin thoughts turn to flavors that are popular at this time of year. Chocolate oranges are a standard seasonal candy in the UK and they are also stocked regularly in Dubai this month. Is orange flavored chocolate popular wherever you live?

1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
1/3 cup or 70g sugar
1/4 cup or 20g dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1/3 cup or 80ml canola or other light oil
1/3 cup or 105g orange marmalade
1 egg
1/2 cup or 95g semi chocolate chips

Optional glaze: several teaspoons marmalade

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Prepare your muffin pan by buttering it liberally or lining it with paper muffin cups.

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder salt and in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, canola, orange marmalade and egg.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through. Some flour should still be showing.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cups.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes then remove them to a wire rack. Spoon a little marmalade on top while they are still slightly warm, if desired.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Leftover White Wine Syrup

Sweet vanilla orange syrup with a tart finish from the dry white wine is beautiful drizzled over ice cream, soaked into a pound cake or stirred into an after dinner coffee.

Leftover wine? 
I can hear you now because I have said similar, “What is this leftover wine of which you speak?” Does. Not. Compute. But if you are having a dinner party, and guests bring wine, chances are that several bottles will get opened because one person prefers un-oaked Chardonnay and another likes a sweeter Riesling, while a third guest’s tipple of choice with turkey is a crispy Sauvignon Blanc. Put me in that last category, unless you are offering a quality red, which I will take over any white, any day, even with poultry. The fact of the matter is that sometimes, when the guests go home in a timely fashion, you can tidy the kitchen and put your feet up with the last glass of your preferred wine, but you might still have leftovers in the bottles you aren’t crazy about.

Here’s the solution: a white wine syrup with sugar and vanilla and orange peel that can be served over ice cream or used to drench a pound cake or can even be bottled up as a hostess gift for the next round of parties. And that’s what I call thinking ahead!

Today our Sunday Supper group is looking ahead to Thanksgiving leftovers and making them into more fabulousness. Many thanks Jennie of The Messy Baker for hosting this event. Make sure you scroll down to see the whole link list.

This recipe is adapted from Real Simple.

1 vanilla bean
3 1/8 cups or 750ml assorted white wines
1 cup or 225g golden caster sugar (White sugar can be substituted but the unrefined stuff adds more flavor.)
Zest of 1 orange
Pinch sea salt

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.

Peel just the orange part off of the orange peel, making sure to leave the bitter white pith behind.

In a large saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, orange zest and vanilla seeds and pod.

Bring to a boil.

Then reduce heat and simmer until the wine mixture is slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 cup or 240ml, 35 to 45 minutes.

Put a heatproof strainer over the pot and use tongs to remove the vanilla pod and the pieces of orange zest and put them in the strainer. Allow them to drain completely. You don't want to waste even a drop of this precious syrup.

If you want to save them for a further purpose, the vanilla bean and orange zest can be placed on parchment paper and allowed to dry completely. Add the vanilla bean to sugar in a closed container to flavor the sugar. The orange zest can be used for cake or cupcake decoration.

Pour the syrup into a sterilized jar and screw the lid on tight. It will thicken even more as it cools.

This is beautiful syrup, speckled with vanilla seeds and shimmering with delicious flavor. Drizzle it over ice cream or mascarpone with fruit for an elegant dessert.


Are you already anticipating those Thanksgiving leftovers? Frankly, the leftovers are almost my favorite part. Have a look at these great recipes that turn your leftovers into something special!

Main Dish

Side Dishes


Condiments & Sauces


Cocktails & Drinks

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Orange Rosemary Boule #TwelveLoaves

This orange rosemary boule is a yeast bread flavored with orange and rosemary. It makes a lovely accompaniment to your soup or salad. Or just eat straight up, spread with butter or cream cheese!
In every Paris boulangerie you will find boules for sale, breads shaped like the eponymous ball. Often they are so-called country loaves or pain de campagne, but they almost always have a crusty exterior and a soft crumb inside. Despite its shape, this particular boule bakes up more like a pain de mie, with a soft crust and a soft crumb inside. 

I am loathe to speak badly of Paris, because it’s a city I love, but there were times, many times, in the three years we lived there that I would have given anything just to see some sunshine. Winter was cold and grey and rainy. And long. The girls were little and seemed to have constant colds, accompanied by the inevitable runny noses and consumptive coughs that keep a mother up at night. 

Once the baby’s congestion was so bad that the pediatrician wrote her a prescription for a therapist who came to the house to bang her on the back and suction the mucus out of her chest. Too much information for a food blog? Yeah, well. That was my life. On the other hand, I learned to appreciate whatever joy I could find, even through the cold, wet days. 

One was the daily pleasure that was watching my children blossom and grow as little, articulate people. The other was the bakery just around the corner from our home. I’d bundle the girls up and we’d go for a walk, just to get out of the house. Stepping into the headily yeasty boulangerie, with its eye-goggling display of artisan breads and fancy pastries and Viennoiseries, a subclass of baked goods that include croissants, pain au chocolat and brioche, we were transported to a place where it was warm and inviting, indeed summer all year round. 

My elder daughter almost invariable chose a palmier – a sweet treat made from puff pastry, baked to a golden crunch, and my younger daughter, when she got old enough, chose a pain aux raisins – a brioche bun baked with raisins. My favorite take-home was a baguette they called tradition, shorter than a baguette ordinaire or standard baguette, that is baked after a longer fermentation time, with a thicker, crustier outside.

Orange Rosemary Boule

For this month’s Twelve Loaves, our ingredient is oranges which easily lends itself to many sweet options. I decided to go savory and add rosemary to the mix, forming the dough into a boule or ball. As it baked, both the oven and the wonderful aroma of oranges and rosemary warmed our rented house in Providence, taking me back to the welcome we received at La Fournée d'Enfance all those years ago.

1/2 cup or 120ml water
1/2 cup or 120ml orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil plus a little extra for oiling bowl for proofing
2 tablespoons grated orange zest plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 oz or 7g active dry yeast
Several sprigs fresh rosemary plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 cups or 250 – 375g unbleached wheat flour (If you are using regular all-purpose flour, you might use even more.)
2 tablespoons milk

In large bowl, measure in 1/2 cup or 60g of your flour and make a little well in the middle. Sprinkle in your yeast and then pour in 1/4 cup or 60ml of the water that has been warmed. Let this hang out for a few minutes, while the warm water activates the dried yeast.

Meanwhile zest and juice your orange. Mine was a Minneola, a special hybrid between tangerines and grapefruit, distinguished by the knob at the end and being extra sweet and juicy. One Minneola gave me a 1/2 cup of juice so I ended up not needing the second one and just peeled it and ate it. Lovely! They are only available in early spring but if you can find some, buy!

Pull leaves off your rosemary sprigs and mince most of them finely. Keep a few leaves for garnish.

To your yeast/flour mixture, add in the orange juice, oil, zest, honey, rosemary, and salt. Be sure to reserve some zest and rosemary for garnish before baking.

Mix until you have a loose batter.

Mix in enough flour, a 1/2 cup or about 60g at a time, to form a soft dough. I used unbleached wheat flour. When I finished adding two cups, it was already fairly stiff so I kneaded in the last half cup. Bleached flour doesn’t absorb as much water so it might take you more if you are using regular all-purpose flour.

Turn dough out onto floured board and knead it for about five minutes, sprinkling on extra flour if needed. Form the dough into a nice round ball. Wash out your mixing bowl then dry it and oil it. Put your dough ball in and toss it around a little to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth or some cling film and put it in a warm place for about an hour. Meanwhile, grease your baking pan with a little more olive oil.

After the hour is up, punch the dough down and knead again for a minute or two.

Form the dough into a nice round ball and put it in your baking pan. Cover it with the mixing bowl and put it in a warm place for the second rising of about an hour.

When your hour is almost up, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

When your hour is up, use a very sharp knife or lame, to cut a cross in the top of the dough. Gently brush on some milk with a pastry brush. (I didn’t have a brush so I used some spare sprigs of rosemary. They didn’t add any flavor, of course, but I felt resourceful and creative so that’s worth something.)

Sprinkle on your reserved zest and rosemary.

Bake the boule in your preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the dough reaches 180°F or 82°C when measured by thermometer in the middle or is golden brown all over and sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. If you can wait that long.


One of the goals of each month’s Twelve Loaves challenge is to encourage bread baking. I hope this wonderful list of orange flavored recipes inspires you to create some warmth in your own kitchen.

If you would like to join us this month, it’s easy:

1. Bake a bread using oranges and post it on your blog before the end of April 2014. This must be a new post. Your bread of choice recipe can include oranges, orange marmalade, orange zest, in fact, anything orange related but it must be IN the dough. In addition to being in the dough, it could also be added to a glaze. Whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun!
2. Mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your post. This helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts.
3. Add your link to the linky tool at the bottom of this post.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the Renee from Magnolia Days and Heather from girlichef.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dark Chocolate Orange Bundt with Dark Chocolate Orange Glaze #BundtaMonth

Orange and chocolate are a classic combination. Using dark chocolate and whole Mandarin oranges pureed in the batter brings a sweet, yet bitter tartness to this tender crumbed cake Dark Chocolate Orange Bundt with Dark Chocolate Orange Glaze.

For the British, especially, chocolate and orange are a treasured Christmas flavor combination and many would say that a Christmas stocking without a chocolate orange is half empty.  Even if it’s full.  But I must admit that it is not something that I grew up with.  Like all great relationships, it has taken a while to grow and mature.  Rather like my love of marmalade.  And Brussels sprouts, eggplant and cooked cabbage.  And other grownup things.  Such is the British influence here that the stores in Dubai are full of all kinds of candies in chocolate and orange so it was a natural choice for this month’s theme of Holiday December!

Where do you fall on the continuum of Love it (10) and Hate it (0)?  If you are somewhere in the lower half, perhaps this delicious cake will slide your opinion up the scale.

For the cake:
2 mandarin oranges (about  5 1/2 oz or 155g)
1/3 cup or 75g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 1/2 cups or 300g sugar
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1 1/3 cups or 170g flour, plus extra for the coating the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup or 75g dark cocoa powder

For the glaze:
5 1/4 oz or 150g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons canola oil

To decorate:  chocolate orange candies  and zest of one Mandarin orange

Put the Mandarin oranges in a small pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over a medium heat and then simmer for an hour.  Keep checking to make sure the oranges are always covered, adding more water if necessary, and turning them over occasionally.

Meanwhile, butter your Bundt pan and coat it well with flour.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine your flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.

When the hour is up, remove the pot from the heat and leave the oranges in it until they are cool enough to handle.

Remove the oranges to a cutting board and preheat your oven to 350°F or 180 °C.  Use a sharp pointy knife to cut the oranges in half and use the pointy end to dig out all of the seeds

Puree both oranges, peel and all, with a hand blender, add in the milk and set aside.

With electric beaters or in your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.

Mix in half of the flour/cocoa and beat until combined.

Pour in half of the orange/milk and beat until combined.

Look at the gorgeous color of that orange puree! 

Repeat with the rest of the flour/cocoa and then the orange/milk.

Pour your batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, melt the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and add in the Grand Marnier and canola oil and stir well.  The liqueur makes the chocolate thicken up and the oil helps it become pourable again.  If you would prefer not to add alcohol to the chocolate, you can skip the oil as well and drizzle on straight melted chocolate.

Once the cake is completely cool, use a piping bag to drizzle the glaze all over the cake.  Or put it in a plastic baggie and cut a small corner off to do the same.   Add the chocolate orange slices and orange zest, if desired.


I hope you have all enjoyed the past year of Bundts from our BundtaMonth group.  Our fearless leaders, Anuradha from Baker Street and Lora from Cake Duchess have decided to disband.  I’d like to thank them for their support and hard work.

Meanwhile, I’ve got one last BundtaMonth list of cakes to share!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Grand Marnier Orange Muffins #MuffinMonday

I am going to hazard a guess that most of my readers can walk into a grocery store or a liquor store and pick up a bottle of anything that suits their fancy, given the budget and an ID that says they are of age.  Here in Dubai, it’s not that simple.  When we arrived last November, my husband handed in his passport to the relevant authorities and waited almost three months for a resident’s visa.  Then the application process began to get a permit to buy alcohol.

I am not sure what the hold up was, but that was finally approved in June and handed over to him in August.  And it's only good for one year, expiring next June, of course.  He has a monthly spending limit and there are only a couple of businesses that are allowed to import and sell alcohol so you have to go to one of their outlets to shop.  And make sure you bring the permit card or alcohol license, as it is called here!

Up until this summer, we were stocking the bar with duty free purchases from when he traveled.  Now we are like real people who can go to the store and buy another bottle of wine when the urge hits.  Or when the weekend comes.  I’m sharing this little window into my world just to tell you that I used Grand Marnier in this recipe because, with a little skip and a jump, I can go into our bar now and find almost whatever I need for any recipe. Or go buy it.  Yay!

Since this week’s muffin ingredient is oranges, the orange liqueur intensified the flavor and made these muffins wonderful.  As they baked the whole house smelled like I was sitting in a citrus grove, basking in the warm sunshine.

Do you ever bake with liqueurs?  Please share your favorite additions by leaving a comment.

1 3/4 cups or 220g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup or 115g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60ml Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1/2 cup or 120ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup or 60ml sour cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup or 55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Zest of 1 orange

Optional but recommended – sugar to sprinkle on before baking.  (I used several tablespoons full.  Don’t be shy. When it bakes, the sugar makes a nice crunchy crust.)

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your muffin pan by greasing it or lining it paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, the sugar, baking powder and salt.  Grate in the orange zest and stir well.

In another bowl, whisk together the Grand Marnier, sour cream, egg, melted butter and orange juice.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Top each muffin cup with a generous sprinkle of sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.