Friday, February 27, 2009

Ann's January Cake - Orange Chocolate Chunk

Hooray for CAKE!!!!

I have a confession. I don't particularly like pie. Did any of you know that? Okay, to be fair, I didn't like pie very much before I moved to Indiana but now I do. It seemed to be such a huge part of living here that I got excited about it, and I really liked all the pies I made. I think I just hadn't had good pie experiences. But cake...cake! Cake to me is like a delightful present. It's special. It's an English tea party, a warm Southern evening, a summer wedding. CAKE!

When Listle was here, we decided to make our cakes together since that is an experience usually reserved for Thanksgiving. We each picked a cake from my cookbooks (both from Ina, of course), and I decided to do a Bundt cake because I had a really excellent-looking recipe. Now here is a funny story that makes me look bad. I told Listle that I had a special Bundt pan that our mom had given me a few years ago. I described it as looking like a castle, kind of Gothic windowed. I thought it was all special. Then I pulled it out and Listle started laughing at me because apparantly all Bundt pans look like this one. It's just a standard Bundt pan. I hate me for being ignorant!!!

My cake was freaking AWESOME. My roommates begged me for it for days afterward, and it was so perfect: dense, chocolatey, tart. Is there anything better than chocolate and orange? No. No there isn't. I possibly baked the cake too long because it got really dark, but I don't think it tasted overcooked. I'm still experimenting with this oven, so we'll see how it goes next month.

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
From Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten

½ pound unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 extra-large eggs at room temperature

¼ cup grated orange zest (4 large oranges)

3 cups flour plus 2 tablespoons

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

¾ cup buttermilk at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks

For the syrup

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

For the ganache

8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electrc or hand mixer 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 with 2 tablespoons of 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 syrup. In a small saucepan over a 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 and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occassionaly. Drizzle over the top of the cake.


DeskSet said...

I feel the same way you do about cake and pie, Ferskner. Pie is good, but cake, CAKE is better. Be prepared for a lot more drooling on my end. :)

Julie said...

Pie is better!

But I will eat this cake anytime.

Elizabeth said...

This thing was so freaking yummy. It was like chocolate-chunk panettone. SOOOO yummy.

I LOVE that you included the story about the Bundt pan. Heee heee!