Chocolate orange cupcakes with ganache and buttercream and a side of reupholstered dining room chairs

Posted on | February 11, 2008 | 47 Comments

Busyness all weekend (nothing seed or garden related, but I’m out of the self-flagellation business, so we’ll just vett that to next weekend’s to-do list).

Chris surprised me Saturday afternoon by coming home with four new seats for the dining room chairs cut out of 3/8″ plywood. We all got busy taking the nasty covers off.

old seat with nasty fabric

I was so happy to see that material in the trash. And check out the ugly vinyl underneath. I wonder whose rear ends made it so shiny.

pulling out the tacks

Chris had to use his special pliers to remove the ancient, rusted tacks holding that vinyl in place. Those are working man’s hands, right there.

Lila helped, too. She was in charge of soaping the screws before Chris put them through the seat into the frame. Cheap made in China screws kept snapping off and after the fourth one he decided to put a drop of dish liquid in the hole and on the threads. Problem solved.

Lila holding up the frame

I didn’t get any photos of the actual reupholstering process because after an hour of the two of us struggling with one, I got frustrated and decided to go into the kitchen where I don’t have to deal with unfamiliar spatial relationships. I just couldn’t figure out how to fold the fabric without making it all lumpy and backwards and uneven and Chris could see it just fine. Bless him and his eternal patience with me, he just listened as I complained and questioned and pulled out staples and refolded and complained and re-stapled and pulled them out again and threw up my hands and ran upstairs to change because I was sweating so much.

We had dinner plans with Cheril & Greg yesterday and we were in charge of salad and dessert. I made these fantastic dark chocolate cupcakes by Chockylit but without the truffle aspect and I did a ganache glaze and a spritz of vanilla buttercream frosting and shaved dark chocolate curls on top. So basically, I used her cupcake recipe, which was absolutely incredible. So chocolatey and moist. I also added a half teaspoon of pure orange extract and a tablespoon of orange zest to the melted chocolate for the cake. And when I made my ganache, I added three tablespoons of butter to give it that nice shiny glaze.

perfect little cakes

I read on Chockylit’s site that my overflowing cake cups might have something to do with my oven temp being too low. She recommends preheating the oven to 25º warmer than the baking calls for, then turning it down as soon as you put the cupcakes in. I was very careful to only fill the cups 3/4 full and then tried that with the temperature, and they came out perfect. Psyche!

the frosted cupcakes

And look at how pretty they are! I so enjoyed presenting them last night and everyone made happy, yummy dessert sounds as they ate. So good.

So it was a multi-person, multi-tasking kind of day around here yesterday.

cupcakes and chair fabric

While I was busy in the kitchen putting together little love cakes, Chris was busy in the living room making our chairs pretty.

the finished chairs

He says he wants to redo the second one from the left, but overall we’re both very happy with the way they came out. We used a thicker piece of foam than one might normally use, but I like the lift. Can’t wait to get that dining room wallpaper stripped off and the room painted next.

the new living room paint

Speaking of paint, here’s a shot (crooked, sorry) of the corner where the green meets the red-orange. I’m so happy with this room.

Cathy's painting on the green

Now we just need some more artwork for the walls. But doesn’t Cathy’s little painting look spectacular against the green?

Happy sigh.


47 Responses to “Chocolate orange cupcakes with ganache and buttercream and a side of reupholstered dining room chairs”

  1. Cathy
    February 11th, 2008 @ 9:09 am

    Wow, the chairs look great! Thank God for a patient and practical man!! And I love the red green combo on the walls—very rich and striking. And then to discover my wee painting there….I feel honored. Lovely.
    I can taste those cupcakes just looking at the pictures!


  2. steven
    February 11th, 2008 @ 9:23 am

    The chairs look great and don’t get me started on the screws that can’t handle torque. The cupcakes sound fantastic.


  3. Kelly Kelly
    February 11th, 2008 @ 9:51 am

    Thanks, Cathy! They look so good in the dining room. Can’t wait to get that room painted next. It feels heavenly to be finally making the place ours. I’m doubly honored to have your art on my wall!

    So come on out to visit and I’ll make you cupcakes!


  4. Kelly Kelly
    February 11th, 2008 @ 9:52 am

    Thanks, Steven…I just passed the rest of the mini cupcakes out at work and everyone ate them for brekkie. I’m a bad influence.


  5. Angelina
    February 11th, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

    What a great lot you accomplished this weekend! I want to make progress like that. The chairs and the cupcakes both look great. Plus, I love the green and the red coming together. It makes me want to paint too. There are a few things in front of that line up though.


  6. debra
    February 11th, 2008 @ 9:50 pm

    Ah, but you’re a good bad influence, Kelly. Here’s to cupcakes for breakfast!


  7. Sandra
    February 13th, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

    The cupcakes look just wonderful, we have to go out for dinner on Saturday night, so I am going to give them a go. Love the chairs.


  8. Kelly Kelly
    February 14th, 2008 @ 6:37 am

    Sandra, they were awesome! Make sure you use a good bittersweet chocolate, like 85% cacao.


  9. Stef
    February 15th, 2008 @ 10:18 am

    Congrats on the chairs! The cupcakes look great too!!


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