I can’t believe I haven’t posted about these before– these are some of my very favorite cupcakes. Cupcakes that are soft and warm and full of chocolate; cupcakes that contrast the rich creaminess of ricotta with the slight bitterness of good marmalade; cupcakes that one of my coworkers has dubbed “the best cupcakes in the world.” And you can have them out of the oven and ready to eat in an hour.
The base of the recipe is from a lovely blog I read, Orangette, but I’ve tweaked it just a bit to make it a little more decadent (though you’ll still need to go out and buy ricotta). The result is fantastic– if you’ve ever daydreamed about crossing a fresh cannoli with warm chocolate cake, this is what you’d get. They’re wonderful as-is, but if you ever wanted to gild the lily, you could top them with a thin drizzle of chocolate ganache, and watch your dinner guests go into a chocolate coma!
Chocolate-Orange Ricotta Cupcakes (makes 12)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tbs. powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 tbs. bourbon (optional, you can use 1 tsp. vanilla instead)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup marmalade
1 tsp. bourbon (optional)
1. Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
3. Mix wet and dry ingredients to make a thick batter.
4. Stir together filling ingredients.
5. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups (you really need to, these don’t unmold well from the pan itself).
6. Put a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate batter into each muffin cup. Top with a heaping tablespoon of filling, then another small spoonful of chocolate batter. Swirl the tops with the tip of a knife. You’ll have leftover ricotta– go ahead and bake that in a ramekin if you like– it’s basically a cheesecake batter.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
8. After cupcakes have cooled about 5-10 minutes, heat marmalade in the microwave for about 20 seconds and stir in the bourbon, if using. Spoon about a teaspoon of warmed marmalade onto the top of each cupcake and spread to the edges to make a glaze.
9. Serve warm or at room temperature.