I was so excited to have my fabulous friend Holly over the other day to finalize testing my recipe for Orange Petits Fours! She loves food, wine, and life as much as I do. We both agree, these are little cakes filled with the perfect amount of sweetness and decadence. The cakes are beaming with citrus flavor, while the ganache has just the right amount of edge from the Grand Marnier. After we baked and decorated almost 100 of these little cakes, Holly took over and shot this amazing photo! I opened a bottle of Côtes du Rhone, poured two rather-full glasses, and we toasted to a job well done! Thank you Holly for all the fun in the kitchen!
Batter Ingredients (makes 55 individual cakes)
Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature
Sugar – 1 cup, granulated
Eggs – 2 extra-large, at room temperature
Orange Zest – ¼ cup, freshly grated, plus more for garnish
Orange Juice – ¼ cup, freshly squeezed
Flour – 1 ½ cups, all-purpose flour
Baking Powder – ¼ teaspoon
Baking Soda – ¼ teaspoon
Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon
Buttermilk – ¼ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons, at room temperature
Vanilla – 1 teaspoon, pure extract
Honey – 2 tablespoons
Orange Syrup Ingredients
Sugar – ¾ cup, granulated
Orange Juice – ¾ cup, freshly squeezed
Dark Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
Dark Chocolate – 1 pound, finely chopped
Heavy Cream – 1 ½ cups
Grand Marnier – 4 tablespoons
Honey – 4 tablespoons
Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 24 count mini cupcake pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time allowing each to fully incorporate. Then add the orange zest.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, honey, and vanilla.
With the mixer set to low speed, add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
Using a 1 ¼ inch metal scoop, fill the wells with a level scoop of the batter.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar and orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
After 10 minutes remove the cakes from the pan, place them on a wire rack set over a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap, and spoon 1 teaspoon of orange syrup over each little cake. Allow the cakes to cool completely. TIP: Spooning the warm syrup over warm cakes will allow it to be absorbed better.
Next, Wash, dry, butter and flour the mini muffin pan and repeat the same steps above until all the batter and orange syrup is used.
In a heat-proof bowl set over barely simmering water, heat the heavy cream, honey, dark chocolate, and salt until just melted, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and add the Grand Marnier. Stir to combine.
With the little cakes still set on a wire rack over a sheet pan lined with new plastic wrap, drizzle the top and sides of all the cakes with the warm ganache. Garnish with more freshly grated orange zest and insert a party pick into each cupcake for easy serving. Allow the ganache to set completely. Do not refrigerate.