This one took me a while to get along to doing. I joined Iron Cupcake several months ago as it first started out, but didn’t have any time to participate! This month, I made myself do it. I mean, chocolate?!? Are you kidding me? That’s the best opportunity to make up a cupcake variation on chocolate for goodness sakes. I thought up so many different combinations it was hard to choose. I knew I wanted to do something with the lavender sugar I had sitting around just waiting to be used. Lavender would be incorporated into the chocolate cake part, and what to do with the frosting? I thought of using a type of dried fruit but nothing clearly popped out. With the help of discussing it with a few fabulous bakers I know, I settled on a orange and lemon zest vanilla frosting. It was superb. I topped each cupcake with dried lavender buds, shavings of orange chocolate, and orange and lemon zest. I was quite pleased with these. Lavender and chocolate are a GREAT combination (try making some lavender hot chocolate! and lavender chocolate ice cream is also quite divine…), but it was hard for me to distinctly taste the lavender because it was so mild. But I suppose that’s a good thing.
In a small bowl, cream the shortening and margarine until well combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar in roughly 1/2-cup additions. After each addition of sugar, add a splash of orange juice and other liquids and beat will with a handheld mixer on medium speed. Add vanilla and zests and beat for a few more minutes until smooth, creamy, and fluffy. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.