I know right. Raw cupcakes. How awesome. I think the greatest thing about raw food is probably the desserts. You can eat something that tastes completely sinful yet is actually deceptively healthy. I see what you did there, raw food, and I like it. This kind of thing is perfect for where I am in life right now. I'm trying to be more conscious of what I'm eating. I'm making more of a concerted effort to add in fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods. I think I eat pretty well overall, but I think I can always do better. Raw desserts help me stay on track without eating a bunch of junk. It doesn't hurt that they're so full of good stuff!
A couple of recipes in Ani Raw Food Desserts were the inspiration for these awesome cupcakes. If you don't already have this book, I would recommend getting it or at the very least perusing it at the library. I posted about the Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake before and really, if that's not enough to persuade you on its own, I don't know what else to say.
I wanted something fruity, but it being winter it's difficult to get many fresh fruits right now except for apples and oranges and bananas. I sort of combined two recipes and tweaked one of them to make what I wanted. I used the Chocolate Crunch Cupcake recipe for the base. I took the lemon pudding part from the Lemon Pudding Filled Coconut Cupcakes and used orange juice in place of lemon juice. Because there were organic blood oranges at the market, I decided to candy some orange slices to put on top of the cupcakes. So, okay, the candied orange slices aren't raw, but they're tasty and they go SO well with these cupcakes.
Basically you mix together the cupcake part and then smoosh it down into a cupcake pan, leaving little dips in the middle for the pudding. Add a few spoons of pudding on top of each one and your cupcakes will look like this:
This being the first time I made these, I think it was overall pretty successful. Next time I think I would add a bit of orange zest and maybe even some smashed orange pulp to the pudding. It wasn't very orangey even though I used fresh juice. The cupcake itself is awesome, though not extremely sweet. Personally, I like it like that, but if you like things super sweet, add a few more dates.
Now for some info about the candied orange slices. Take note of this. Candying orange slices or strips of peel or even lemon or grapefruit peel is ridiculously easy. It's also something that people usually find really impressive. You can even just candy orange peel strips and dip them in chocolate for a crazy awesome treat. I love those so much.
Here's what you do. Cut your fruit into whatever side you want. Get a pot and add to it equal parts of sugar and water. How much depends on how many pieces of citrus you're candying. I did two oranges, a big regular one and a small blood orange so I went ahead and did 3 cups sugar with 3 cups of water.
Turn the heat to medium and stir a bit until the sugar is totally dissolved. Be patient and let the sugar water heat up until it starts to simmer. Add your fruit, give it a gentle stir with a wooden spoon and turn the heat down to low. You want it to be just barely simmering. Leave it alone for about 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Line a baking sheet or a plate or something with some parchment paper and carefully arrange the fruit on the baking sheet to cool. You'll want to make sure none of it is touching too much or it might dry sticking together. After they've cooled for a bit, you can either dip them in chocolate, roll them in some superfine sugar or just use them as is.
Here's another cool thing. You've also just made some flavored sugar that's great for adding to iced teas and ice coffees and things like that. Strain the sugar water you used to cook the citrus in and put it in a mason jar or something like that and stick it in the fridge. Now you can pour in a bit whenever you need a bit of sweetness. This is also a really great simple syrup to use when making homemade lemonade.