Meg’s Cooking Corner

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Orange Chocolate Cake

My oldest son has all the makings of a foodie. Although he loves the typical teen fare of junk food, he will try everything and even loves foods such as octopus and shrimp with ice cream (don't ask!) I love it when his birthday comes around because he always has an unusual birthday cake request. This year he wanted an orange and chocolate cake. I wasn't too sure about the combo, but was pleased to find this cake by Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa). I knew she wouldn't let me down, and sure enough, it was wonderful: orange cake dotted with chocolate chips, an orange glaze to keep the cake moist, and a chocolate ganache to top it all off! Thanks for another great cake request, Jake!

Orange Chocolate Cake

*This cake would also be wonderful baked in mini bundt cake pans for a delicious fall treat for friends!

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temp
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temp
1/4 cup grated orange zest (from 4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp instant coffee granules (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 (175C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.

Sift together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks or chips with 2 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pan, set it on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

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