Search for the perfect cupcake - Spanish Orange Syrup Cupcakes

My fascination with cupcakes was rewarded by some very appropriate Christmas presents - thank you Verity and Tash!

The Donna Hay cupcake papers certainly have given my cupcakes new style.  You should have heard the squeal of delight when I filled the baking pan with all the pretty colours - yes, I know I am easily amused. These are quite large papers for cupcakes and fit my muffin pans perfectly which is another plus.

My desk is now adorned with a The Cupcake Calendar which has a different cupcake recipe for everyday of the week. Before you think it, I am not going to do a Julie/Julia, but.... I will be baking cupcakes, hopefully once a week, and blogging them. The recipes come from the book 500 Cupcakes by sellers Publishing Inc

First off were Spanish Orange Syrup Cupcakes which went down a treat, especially with a good blob of double cream. Yum!

Next I'll be making Chocolate Mud Cupcakes because they look really easy and have a big melted choc interior - too good! You'll have to wait for that recipe.

Spanish Orange Syrup Cupcakes
These cupcakes are very moist and have a dense grainy texture. They should be made ahead so the syrup can soak in and last two days in an air tight container.

2 medium, seedless sweet oranges peeled and roughly chopped
½ cup butter
1 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
½ cup semolina
½ cup almond meal
½ cup self raising flour

1 peeled orange rind (from cupcake recipe)
½ cup castor sugar
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F). Place 12 paper baking cups in a muffin pan. In a saucepan, cover the oranges with water and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes). Cool, drain and puree oranges in a food processor. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixed until light. Slowly beat in the eggs. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, along with orange puree, until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the cups then bake for 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool.

Syrup – thinly slice the orange rind, removing the pith. Cut the orange rind into thin strips. In a pan, bring the sugar and water to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the orange strips and boil uncovered for 5 minutes, or until tender. Spoon the syrup onto each cupcake.