Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange, Bourbon, Ricotta Swirl

For ricotta mixture:

  • 2/3 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 Tbs good-quality bourbon
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup good-quality semisweet chocolate chips
  • A pinch of salt

For cupcake batter:

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup milk (any fat content is fine)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbs distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange liqueur

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-well muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ricotta mixture ingredients. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill.

Place a good-sized sieve over a large bowl, and put the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and sugar into the sieve. Shake the sieve to filter the dry ingredients through into the bowl. Whisk to combine them thoroughly.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, egg, vinegar, vanilla, and orange-flower water; then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, stirring to just combine. Do not overmix.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate batter into each muffin cup. Top the chocolate batter with a rounded tablespoon of the ricotta mixture, followed by another rounded tablespoon of the chocolate batter. You should have just enough chocolate batter for 12 cupcakes. Holding a paring knife point-down, swirl the tip of the knife through the batter in each cup in a figure-eight pattern to marble the batter.

Bake the cupcakes in the middle of the oven until a toothpick or thin knife inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool them in the pan on a rack; then gently unmold and serve.

From Orangette

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