For the past couple days, I have had this image in my mind of blood orange cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream. I don't really know where this idea came from, being as I've never even had a blood orange before. There's a gourmet grocery store near my apartment though that has every fruit imaginable and ones I did not even know existed. So after frantic searching there today (for some reason, they were buried in the mountain of apples), I found some blood oranges.
The batter was a light pinkish color before it went into the oven. Originally, I anticipated it being a deep pink-red, but the juice was not as opaque as I thought it was going to be. If I wanted them to be darker, I would have had to add food dye to the batter, which I didn't want to do this time. It was quite a surprise when I took the baked cupcakes out of the oven, and they were bluish grey. I have absolutely no idea how this happened. It must have been some reaction between the ingredients, but I'm really unsure what it was. The only thing I can think of is maybe it was the egg whites. It's a total mystery though.
Blood Orange Cupcakes
makes 9 cupcakes
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 stick butter, room temp
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg yolk, room temp
2 egg whites, room temp
1/3 c. whole milk, room temp
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in cupcake tins.
2. Beat the butter in a mixer on high. Add the sugar and beat on high until it is light and fluffy.
3. Add egg yolk and beat well. Add orange extract.
4. Sift dry ingredients together.
5. Mix milk with orange juice.
6. To the butter mixture, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Add 1/2 the milk mixture and mix. Continue alternating the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry.
7. In a separate, clean bowl, whip the egg whites into a light foam.
8. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
9. Scoop batter into cupcake trays, 2/3 full.
10. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cake springs back when touched.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
1/2 stick butter, room temp
2 oz. cream cheese
1/3 pound confectioner's sugar
1/4 vanilla bean, beans scraped out
1/2 tsp. vanilla crush
1. Cream butter and cream cheese together
2. Add scraped vanilla beans and bean crush. Beat well.
3. Slowly add confectioner's sugar