Last weekend was one of our closest friend’s daughter’s first birthdays. Any first birthday deserves to be celebrated but here we had a special reason to party. This little girl has been through the mill in the past year. Born incredibly early she has been in and out of hospital since her arrival, has undergone surgery and spent many a day/week/month wired to machines and fed through tubes. Despite this I have never known a baby with such a ready, fantastic and infectious giggle.
Thankfully she is now doing incredibly well and her parents wanted to both celebrate her arrival at this important milestone and have the opportunity to thank all their friends and family who have done so much for them over the past year.
I was asked to help with the catering a little by making some buns and wanted to make something child friendly that would also be enjoyed by adults.
Flicking through my past recipes I came upon my chocolate orange bun recipe. This is a really nice bun and really easy to throw together. It’s like eating a Terry’s Chocolate Orange but without having to share any of it. I’ve taken the chocolate buttercream up a notch by adding dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder, which makes it slightly richer. For an adult only occasion these buns would be even better if you added an orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier to the icing instead of the orange juice. Just don’t overdo it, you don’t want the icing to be runny.
The buns flew off the table and much fun was had by all. Adults and children alike enjoyed the bouncy castle assault course and some (mainly adults) left with significantly less skin on their elbows as a result of the competitive races that ensued. The main birthday cake was a beautiful Very Hungry Caterpillar creation, the candle blown out by big brother. All in all it was a very successful celebration of a little girl’s safe first year. I’m already looking forward to next year.
Chocolate Orange Buns
For the buns
- 225 g butter
- 175 g caster sugar
- 50 g brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 175 g self-raising flour
- 50 g cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Zest of two oranges
For the icing
- 200 g icing sugar sieved
- 150 g soft butter
- 100 g plain chocolate
- 1-2 tablespoons orange juice ((or liqueur see above))
For the decoration
- 1 Terry’s Chocolate Orange
For the buns
- Preheat the oven to 170⁰C.
- Beat together the butter and sugar.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time adding a little of the flour if the mixture splits.
- Sieve in the remaining dry ingredients, add the orange zest and stir together ensuring you do not over-beat the mixture.
- Spoon into the bun cases.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Ensure the buns are fully cooked before you remove them. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Alternatively, the bun should spring back when you press the top gently.
For the icing
- Melt the chocolate. The easiest way to do this is to heat it gently in the microwave. I put it on rapid defrost and it takes about 1 minute. Make sure that you stir it every 15 seconds or so. This will aid the melting and ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Whilst the chocolate is cooling beat (or whisk if you dare) together the icing sugar, butter and orange juice or liqueur.
- Add the cooled chocolate and beat together once more.
- Once the buns have totally cooled place a small spoonful of the icing onto each bun pressing a segment of chocolate orange into each little mound of icing.