Nutella & Orange White Chocolate Cups

This past weekend was the perfect sneak peak into summer. The majority of my time was spent outside in our hammock, reading Harry Potter numero 5 while enjoying the warm breeze. We went to one of our favorite Thai restaurants (though I still have yet to find a Thai restaurant that even comes close to my favorite Thai food truck in Portland), and walked to the local Asian market for some authentic curry paste to use later in the week. We endured the overcrowded Lake Calhoun and kayaked around the Chain of Lakes. While on the water a mosquito landed on me and I was the most dramatic about it. If there are two things I hate about Midwest summers it is the ridiculous mosquito infestation and extreme humidity (like, WHY is the air sweating so profusely). Okay, okay, I will stop being so dramatic. Anyways, this past weekend was also Mother's Day, and while we were unable to celebrate our wonderful mothers in person, we were able to get some semi face to face time via Skype.

One of the many qualities that I inherited from my momma is the way in which she loves upon others through homemade food. She taught me the value of showing someone compassion, celebration, grief, etc through sacrificing some of your time to hand prepare a yummy treat or meal. It's no wonder that when I am planning a visit home, one of the first things she asks me is what special meals/treats I want when I am home! In the past she has made some unique creations for me, such as mini heart-shaped pies containing various fillings for Valentine's Day, or the butterfly shaped cakes I had at practically all of my birthday parties growing up. 

To celebrate my mom from afar, I wanted to use her as inspiration for this week's recipe. One of her FAVORITE flavor combinations is orange and chocolate, so I created white chocolate cups, filled with nutella and orange zest. YUM! These tasty little treats are incredibly easy to make with simple steps. When you take a bite, the white chocolate's creaminess meshed together with the smooth and rich flavor of nutella is so satisfying, and perfectly balanced by the refreshing citrus orange zest. I also love the size of this dessert. Using a mini muffin pan to create these chocolate cups automatically builds in some self-control... well sometimes ;) But for the most part, they are the perfectly sized treats when your sweet tooth needs a little satisfying but you don't want to indulge in a huge dessert!


Makes 12 mini cups
Prep time: 5 minutes | "Cook" time 25 minutes

1.  Line a mini muffin pan with liners. Set aside. 

2.  Zest and set aside: 
               1 medium orange

3.  Place in a small bowl: 
               1 cup white chocolate
              1 Tablespoon coconut oil

4.  Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. If all of the chocolate and coconut oil are not melted, microwave for additional 10 seconds increments, until completely melted. 

5.  Spoon roughly 1-2 teaspoons worth of the melted chocolate into the liners, and cover entire interior of liner with chocolate (I found it easiest to pick up the individual liners, then rotate the liners in my hands to evenly disperse the chocolate). 

6.  Place the muffin pan in the freezer for a 5 minutes, allowing the chocolate to set. 

7.  Spoon into the cups: 
               1 Tablespoon nutella

8.  Sprinkle some of the orange zest on top of the nutella. 

9.  Return the muffin pan to the freezer for an additional 5-10 minutes, until nutella relatively set. 

10.  Pour white chocolate over the nutella to fill to the top. Sprinkle more orange zest on the white chocolate (do this right after pouring each one - otherwise the chocolate will set and the zest will not stick). 

11.  Return to the freezer for 5 minutes, until white chocolate set. Store in the refrigerator. 

Note: The addition of coconut oil to the white chocolate helps provide you with more time to work with the chocolate before it hardens, but if the chocolate begins to harden before you are done, return the bowl to the microwave for a couple additional seconds as needed.