For the office birthday party this week, I decided to bake the cupcakes instead of buying them. So, I went with Giada's recipe for Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Limoncello Frosting because a) it sounded good at the time and b) it gave me a valid excuse to buy my first bottle of Limoncello.
Again, I used Duncan Hine's Devil's Food Cake Mix and I beat it on high a little while longer. Instead of the manufactured orange juice, I used the fresh squeezed organic one from Trader Joe's. As for the chocolate chips, I used semi-sweet.
The cake was moist and fluffy, not too sweet. Even the sweet icing had a little cut from Limoncello and zest. Despite the rich, chocolaty flavor, the cake was surprisingly refreshing. Perfect in every way for a summer day. (I know, the recipe was for Halloween...but it was a VERY summery cake!)
The only obstacle I had with this recipe is finding the candied orange peel. I went to Trader Joe's. No dice. Even Bristol Farms doesn't have any, to my surprise.
Oh god. The endive flashback!
Thank goodness, as a back up plan, I looked up Giada's candied orange peel recipe ahead of time. So while at Trader Joe's, I picked up 2 navel oranges.
I followed the recipe except that I use 2 oranges instead of one. Come to think of it, I think you can even candied peels from 3 oranges with all the sugar there was in that pot. And of course, I didn't chocolate-dip the peel.
At first I was worried. After I left the peel out to cool/dry over night, it was still sticky in the morning. But by the time I got home later that afternoon, they were dry. And they were perfect.