Blood Orange Trifles

If you've never checked out Food Network Magazine, I highly suggest you do it. Every month without fail I find myself ripping out multiple pages of recipes I want to try, and they have a great table of contents in the front that has a picture index of all the recipes included in the issue. Don't want to spend the $15? All of their recipes are listed online, you just don't get the extra little articles.

This recipe was one of the ones I ripped out of that magazine, anticipating the day when blood oranges would be in season.

Even after I found some at the store, though, I put off making this. Why? One word - custard. The stuff scares me so much. I am not a very talented whisk-er, and the constant whisking requirement just doesn't work for me (see below for my trick to get around this).

Once I saw the recipe for the chocolate blood orange cupcakes, I took it as a sign that it was time. And it was SO worth the wait. The cookies are sweet, but not overly sweet, and the custard mixture gives it a light and smooth texture.

Blood Orange Trifles
(makes 4)

6 blood oranges
2/3 cup sugar
3T orange liqueur
3 large egg yolks
1t lemon juice
1/2c heavy cream
ladyfinger cookies

Squeeze the juice from 4 blood oranges. Reserve 1T of the juice.

Combine the remaining juice with 1/3c sugar, 1T orange liqueur, and 1/4c water in a saucepan. Boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, until a syrupy consistency. Set aside to cool.

Beat the cream until stiff.

In a double boiler over medium-low, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, the remaining 1T orange juice, 1/3c sugar, and 2T liqueur.

Whisk constantly until the custard is thick, about 10 minutes.

(See the trick? Yep, I'm using the whisking attachment on my hand mixer!)

Remove the bowl from the double boiler and continue whisking until cool.
Fold the whipped cream into the custard.

Peel 2 oranges and separate the segments.
Dip ladyfinger halves into the syrup mixture, then layer in each glass (4). Top with custard and orange segments. Repeat to form another layer, until all ingredients are used.
(Can't find ladyfingers? Me either. Just use another similarly shaped/textured cookie.)

Cover and chill 2 hours.
To serve, drizzle syrup mixture on top and sprinkle with crushed ladyfingers.


Blood Orange Lemonade

I think I've finally found the perfect drink. 

Seriously, if you like lemonade and oranges, you will absolutely love this. The best part is that it only takes about 10 minutes to make start to clean up. 

On this nice sunny Sunday morning, I wish I had more of it to enjoy with my blood orange scone (coming soon). In fact I think I'll go make some more right now...

Blood Orange Lemonade

1c sugar
1c blood orange juice
1c lemon juice
1 lemon
1/2c water
3c club soda
1 blood orange

Make a simple syrup: Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Mix orange and lemon juices, simple syrup, and club soda in a pitcher.

Slice the lemon and orange into rounds and put in the pitcher with the lemonade.

Serve over ice with another splash of club soda.


Chocolate Blood Orange Cupcakes

So you're probably wondering why I love blood oranges so much right? (Even if you're not, I'm going to tell you.)

The first week I was studying abroad in Italy, my roommates took a trip to the local grocery store. Now I didn't speak much Italian at that point so the whole experience was a little bit overwhelming. Fortunately we went during an off-peak time so there weren't people everywhere to make it even worse.

But the store was tiny and I couldn't read any of the labels so I stuck with fruits and vegetables and other such easily identifiable things... or so I thought.

Well I got home that night and went to eat an orange from the 5lb bag I bought. I started to peel it, and started to break apart the wedges, and then I notice that the orange was a weird color. Being in a different country and not knowing how fresh food was, etc., I figured the orange had gone bad. So I started to peel a new one... same problem.

It took me about 4 oranges before I realized that these weren't the same oranges I was used to. After giving one a try, I fell in love, and proceeded to buy one of those massive bags every few days.

Since they're so hard to find in the Northeast US, I gradually forgot how good they were. But when I saw a recipe on another blog about a year ago that used blood oranges, I knew I needed to find some and get baking. It took me a year, but here we are...

Chocolate & Blood Orange Cupcakes

1c coconut milk
1/3c pure olive oil
1t vanilla extract
1t blood orange zest
3/4c sugar
1c flour
1T almond meal
1/3c cocoa
3/4t baking soda
1/2t baking powder
1/4t salt
1/2c butter, at room temperature
2-3c confectioners' sugar
1/2t vanilla extract
3T blood orange juice
1t blood orange zest
1-2T heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350.

Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract (1t), and orange zest.

Note: For this recipe, you'll need about one large orange for both the zest and juice.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and almond meal.
(I didn't have any almond meal on hand, and couldn't find it at the store, so I substituted corn meal.)

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Divide the batter between 12 cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, then let cool.

While the cupcakes are baking/cooling, make the icing.
Cream the butter until fluffy. Beat in 1c confectioners' sugar.
Mix in orange juice, zest, and vanilla extract.
Gradually add more confectioners' sugar and heavy cream until desired consistency.

Can't find blood oranges? This recipe would work equally as well with any type of orange, but the frosting would obviously be orange instead of such a pretty pink color.

Blood Orange Week

It's officially blood orange week here on Baking Sweet Treats! I love these little guys so much that when I saw at the grocery store my mind immediately came up with about 100 ways to use them in baking. Sadly, living in New England, you can only get them for a few weeks a year and they're too expensive to buy enough for all my ideas, so I had to narrow it down to 5 to try this year, which I'll be sharing with you over the next 7 days.

(Doesn't it just look so juicy and good?)

Make sure you check them all out - I'll be posting a survery at the end of the week to see which one was your favorite!