- under the cover of darkness, walk down the block and around the corner to the parking lot outside the dentist office, and sidle up to the orange tree by the west wall. occasionally looking over your shoulder to ensure that the receptionist is still safely behind the desk inside the building, fill a bag with as many oranges as you can easily grab without a ladder.*
- once home, rinse oranges, dry, and arrange nicely in a bowl.
- preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- in a large bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/4 cup ground almonds (failing that, go with 1/2 cup more flour), 1 pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and the zest of the two oranges that you accidentally gouged badly while picking from the tree. (note: these are pretty small oranges… i might use only one, if we were talking about big navel oranges)
- juice those two de-zested oranges into a measuring cup, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/3 cup veggie oil, then fill with warm water to the 1 cup mark and stir with a fork.
- line a muffing tin with paper cupcake liners. or don’t. whatever.
- pour the liquid mix into the dry stuff in the bowl, and thoroughly combine with as few strokes as possible.
- divide batter equally in muffin tin, and bake for ~15 minutes or until a knife inserted into a centrally-located cupcake comes out clean. enjoy!
if you want icing, i should first tell you that my recipe for this is much less exact, and requires some willingness to fuck up. if you’re okay with that: in a food processor, whip together ~1/4 cup margerine, ~1/4 cup “better than cream cheese” spread (or you could use… *gasp* actual cream cheese!) and the zest of one tiny orange until smooth. a little at a time, add ~1 and 1/2 cups icing sugar. if it’s too thick, try adding a little bit of orange juice. vanilla is nice too. remember to let your cupcakes cool completely before icing them, or you’ll end up with puddles.
i’m flying home to canada in 3 days. also, i landed an interview for that rad job i want. combine those two facts with some sweet tender cupcakes, and all the melancholy that was weighing on me earlier this afternoon is successfully being chased away.
*my roommates and i have been watching this tree for weeks, and no one’s picking it: the fruit is beginning to fall off and rot, which is a crying shame!