Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

I declared that this week was cake week, so cake week it is. It was a touch more difficult to find a recipe for today since I am out of milk and powdered sugar. Luckily, I had buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt to use as liquid ingredients, so the only big thing eliminated was any cake with a buttercream or cream cheese frosting, or with a powdered sugar glaze. I did a couple of searches through my go-to books, and a couple searches online and came up with a list of cakes for Chris to choose from.

One of the big strikes against this particular recipe was that it's fruit and chocolate -- a combination that JB hates -- and JB missed out on the Elvis Cake and the Oreo Cake from earlier this week, so normally I would have made something with him in mind (or at least something I knew he wouldn't dislike just from the name alone). However, one of the main things going for it was that we happened to have a bunch of blood oranges sitting around that we picked up for a recipe that we never made, and we were starting to think that we would have to throw them out -- something we loath doing. At one point I started to make a Blood Orange Tart from Epicurious just to use them, but the crust was overdone and the orange curd tasted like metal so we threw the whole thing out, (throwing out perfectly good oranges that we let go bad is totally different from throwing out nasty recipe gone wrong....) But, we still had a pile of blood oranges and no idea what to do with them.

This Orange Chocolate Cake recipe is a Ina Garten recipe that I got from Smitten Kitchen's website. Deb from Smitten Kitchen raved about this cake on her blog (such a pretty blog to look at.... *sigh*) and urged everyone -- even those who dislike orange and chocolate -- to give this cake a try. This recipe sounded a bit more appealing than the other options, so sorry JB, fruit and chocolate won today. Tomorrow's cake will be even more of a challenge though, since I'm now out of buttermilk as well as regular milk and powdered sugar. Although, an Irish Whiskey cake nearly won tonight and that calls for sour cream....

But back to this cake. Yummy. It's not as moist and delicate as the Caramel Cake or the Oreo Cake, more of a pound cake really, but man is it good. The first thing you notice is actually the chocolate, and after that the orange flavor kind of lingers around for a while. The orange flavor is a double whammy -- orange zest in the cake, and then a simple orange syrup is brushed on the cake after it comes out of the oven to intensify the orange flavor and to help keep the cake moist.

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

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

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

8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

2. 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.

3. 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 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 cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

4. 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.

5. 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.


bjs said...

short on milk and powdered sugar, eh... can you provide details by early (NLT 8am) tomorrow morning? I'd gladly bring whatever you need in...

Anonymous said...

i went ahead and tried it since the smitten one urged those who don't like orange & chocolate to try it. and....i admire the quality of the ingredients, but i found the cake very orange-y and the chocolate very chocolate-y and they, uh, taste badly together in my mouth. sorry. i think this would be really, really good though if you subsitute the chocolate chunks with almonds and the chocolate glaze with a gran marinier glaze :)

smitten just blows said...

the "smitten one"? Is that me? Why am I the "smitten one"?

biscuitpusher said...

Smitten = -- where I got the recipe. :)

blushing-furiously, jalopy, so sloppy! said...

oops. i was thinking of the email i sent out at work. hence the confusion.

me not clever. and quite self-centered, apparently. appreciate the correction!