Saturday, February 5, 2011

chocolate orange cake.

As I mentioned last time, I decided to bake a chocolate orange cake for my sister's 21st birthday.  While many people don't love fruit and chocolate together, I think that chocolate, especially of the dark variety, and crisp, citrusy orange is a match made in heaven.
The cake turned out quite dry, but the delicious ganache frosting made up for it (in my humble opinion).  I used a few substitutions, but for method stuck quite strictly to the recipe.

(1) melty chocolate (2) orange zest (3) batter
(4) stiff egg whites! victory! (5) in it goes (6) out it comes
(7, 8) the finished product (9) mumsy and the birthday girl

Chocolate orange cake,
adapted from the Avoca Café Cookbook

6 oz dark chocolate (70% cococa)
6 oz unsalted butter
8 oz sugar
6 eggs, separated into yolk and whites
Grated zest of 3 oranges
5 oz self-raising flour -- if you have it; I used all-purpose flour and added a bit of baking powder... almost forgot that step but yanked the cake out of the oven when I had realized my mistake
Orange slices, to decorate

For the icing:
4 fl oz double (or whipping) cream
8 oz dark chocolate (55% cocoa) --  I used Lindt Excellence Intense Orange Dark With Pieces of Orange and Almond Slivers and it worked really well, if you like almonds
1-2 tablespoons Cointreau -- I used Bailey's and it was deeeelicious

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Break up the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler (bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water-- but make sure not to get any H2O into the chocolate!).  When melted, set aside.  Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the egg yolks.  Stir in the melted chocolate and the orange zest and then fold in the flour (and a bit of baking powder if you're using all-purpose flour-- don't make the same mistake I did).  Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and fold them into the cake mixture.  Spoon into a lined round 9 inch cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Remove from pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the icing, put all the ingredients into a double boiler and leave to melt.  Stir until smooth (unless there are pieces of almond in the chocolate, obviously) and then remove from the heat and set aside for about 20 minutes.  Spread evenly over the cake and decorate with slices of orange, and Joyeux Anniversaire! if your sister is an avowed Francophile.

Try not to eat it all in one sitting; the icing is rather rich. 


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