Tangerine and chocolate “snack cakes”

These were kind of my ode to a Hostess cupcake. A dark chocolate cake with a cream inside and ganache on top. Fudgy, delicious, and definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. For this rendition, I went with a chocolate cake that uses black cacao, which has this almost fruity quality to it from being an alkalized version of normal cocoa powder. Coffee and regular cocoa powder are mixed in as well, just to round out the flavors and give it a nice hit of chocolate. The filling, instead of the standard cream, I went with an orange cheesecake, since I love black bottom cheesecake, and this is my way of combining that with a Hostess snack cake to get a two in one deal! An orange and chocolate ganache finishes off the dessert as well. This recipe would be easily adapted to be vegan if you just sub out the cream cheese with a vegan cream cheese, and the lack of eggs or butter makes you feel a touch less guilty about your life decisions on eating all six of these in one go like how I did.

For the chocolate cake:
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup black cacao powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon black vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together to form your batter. Pour into 6 lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to guarantee even baking. Allow the cakes to fully cool before filling or garnishing.

For the orange ganache:
juice from 1 orange
1 teaspoon canola oil
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate

Heat up the orange juice until it is reduced by half. Stir in the other ingredients to form a shiny ganache. Keep lukewarm for glazing.

For the orange cheesecake:
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
juice from 1 orange
zest from 2 oranges
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Whip the cream cheese with vanilla until soft. In a pot, reduce the other ingredients until it forms a jammy texture. Pour into the cream cheese and whip until soft.

To assemble:
Pipe the cheesecake inside of each cupcake. Then top with the glaze and refrigerate until set. Then finish with another dollop of piped cheesecake.

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