Chocolate Orange Cake
Courtesy of Cravings Restaraunt and Bakery
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
- 6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon orange extract
- Zest of one deep-hued large orange
- 2 cups boiling water, divided
- 2 ½ cups unbleached flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Butter, for greasing pans
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting pans
- Ganache (see recipe; optional)
- Sweetened whipped cream flavored with orange zest (optional)
- Melt the chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler over simmering water. Meanwhile, bring a kettle of water to boil. Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange extract, and orange zest until blended. Stir in the melted chocolate-butter mixture; stir, scraping the bowl, until well mixed.
- Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until blended, scraping the bowl thoroughly. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together twice. Add sifted flour mixture to egg-chocolate mixture. Mix by hand until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients. Let batter rest for one minute, and then gently stir again. Stir in the remaining 1 cup boiling water.
- Divide batter evenly among three 9-inch cake pans that have been buttered and dusted with cocoa powder.
- Bake in a preheated 350º F oven for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the centers of each cake layer spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and let cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert pans onto racks and remove pans. Let cake layers cool completely before frosting as desired. Yield: 3 (9-inch) cake layers.
Tip: Wrap and freeze extra layers for use later. For Ganache frosting, see recipe. Or, frost with sweetened whipped cream flavored with orange zest.
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pound of your favorite dark chocolate, such as Valrhona or Scharffenberger, chopped into pieces
- 1/4 inch or less
- 1 (9-inch) layer chocolate cake (see recipe), cooled completely
- Place cream, butter, and sugar in pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When it reaches a boil, turn off heat; add chocolate and shake pot so that the chocolate is completely submerged. Let stand for 5 to 8 minutes. Mix until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a food processor; cover and blend for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let cool for 15 to 25 minutes.
- Use a single layer of chocolate cake (see recipe) that has cooled completely. (Tip: You can place the baked cake in the freezer for two hours.) Place the cake on a wire rack set on a cookie sheet to catch excess ganache. Pour ganache over cake. Tilt rack so that ganache runs down the sides of the cake. Use a metal spatula if necessary to spread ganache.
- Transfer the cake and rack to another cookie sheet. Scrape the excess ganache off the first cookie sheet into a separate bowl to avoid getting crumbs in the original ganache. (See note.)
- Chill the cake in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes. Pour ganache over top again as described above. Chill until firm.
- Transfer cake to a serving plate or platter. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Yields 12 to 16 slices.
Note: Excess ganache can be thoroughly chilled, scooped into balls with a melon baller, and rolled in toasted nuts or coconut to make delicious truffles.
Candied Orange Peel
- 8 bright-orange navel oranges, preferably with thick skins
- 2 cups granulated sugar, plus additional 2 to 3 cups for dusting
- Juice all the oranges; reserve juice for another purpose. Cut orange peel into 1/4-inch strips, removing all pulp.
- Blanch peel in 4 cups boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and discard water. Repeat this process two more times (for a total of three times), discarding the water after each use.
- Make a simple syrup by combining 2 cups sugar with 2 cups water in saucepan; bring to a boil. Blanch the peel for 10 minutes in the simple syrup. (This is the fourth and final blanching.)
- Remove the blanched peel from syrup; drain well. (Save orange-flavored syrup for another use or discard.) Toss strips in additional sugar (2 to 3 cups) to coat. Place pieces flat on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Let air-dry overnight. If peel is still wet and sticky, toss again in sugar and let air-dry another 6 to 8 hours. Make certain that pieces are not touching. Store the dry candied peel in airtight tin for up to one week.
Makes about 60 strips.
Tip: This recipe works best on dry and less humid days.