Thursday, September 02, 2010

Dark chocolate orange cake

Wow, it’s been so long since my previous post that I feel like I’m starting a new blog and certainly the chances that I’ll need to accumulate a new fan base are pretty good, too. Not that I’m accusing anybody of neglect. I mean, I know better than anyone else how I keep pruning my link list according to how long the linked blog has been inactive. It wouldn’t be fair or sensible to expect people to continue to visit my blog over an indefinite period with nothing new to look at or read. Anyway, it’s been a combination of family emergency (all of July) and general sloth (all of August).

I did have a few folders with photographs of recipes I’d made prior to July, but the long gap undid my memory. In other words, I couldn’t remember the ingredient list/substitutions, or the steps involved. That’s the problem with winging it with recipes, exacerbated by a bad memory.

Anyway, to mark my return to the food blogging world, from this recipe on, I’ll be incorporating a small change to the sequence of steps involved in the recipe. This is something that I’ve seen on a
blog that I (and a zillion others) enjoy reading – me mainly for the droll humour of Ree Drummond, but also because I’m fascinated by her cheerful use of vast quantities of butter and cream in practically every recipe. (I haven't yet tried any of her recipes, but chances are very good that when I do, it will be a baking recipe.)

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fanatic about cooking healthy all the time, but she’s something else again. I love her bindaas attitude in the kitchen, but I have to assume that she does not indulge much in her own cooking, otherwise she would be top contender for “fattest woman in the USA”.

Looks like my train of thought has wandered off-track again. So, as I was saying, I’m – finally – going to incorporate something that the Pioneer Woman uses on her blog. No, not her sense of humour. I doubt I could do that. No, it’s the composite recipe that she gives at the end of each post, to make it easy for anyone who’s copy-pasting the recipe into a Word document to save on their computer. Right now, anybody who does that with recipes off my blog would find all the photos used in the recipe also being copied, forcing them to delete each photo from the Word document and all the extra space that the photos occupied for each step. It can be a pain if you want just the recipe and method without the photos (again, I’ve experienced it on other blogs), so I’m going to do as the Pioneer Woman does. Monkey see, monkey do.

I don’t think this is copyright infringement, as it’s not the contents of her blog or blogposts that I’m copying but just one stylistic element. At least, I hope I’m right. If anybody is more informed about this, please let me know.

So, finally, the recipe.

I wanted to make a chocolate-orange cake for my cousin and her husband who were visiting me last weekend, but I didn’t want it to be any recipe that I’d tried. It is always a risky affair to try a new recipe for guests without first doing a trial-run... but then I like to live life dangerously, sometimes (haha). I’d never used a whole cooked orange – peel, pith and all - in any cake, so I decided this would be the perfect occasion to try out the recipe. I didn’t know what a cooked, pureed orange would bring to the cake, but I kinda hoped that it would be a good, strong orange flavour – something I love. As it happened, the cake was nice and moist, but I have to say the orange flavour was not as pronounced as I’d hoped for. And this after I’d used orange oil extract as well! But it was a lovely cake, all the same.

For those who don’t like the taste of 85% cacao content dark chocolate, I suggest you use milk chocolate, or perhaps a lighter dark chocolate (as contradictory as that sounds). The cake as I made it is also on the less sweet side, because I used 90% dark chocolate to flavour the cake as well as for the frosting. If you stick with really dark chocolate, serve the cake with Chantilly cream or vanilla icecream to mellow the darkness a bit.

Recipe for:
Dark chocolate orange cake


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Ingredients:

1 large Minneolas or Seville orange
125g 85% dark chocolate , broken into pieces
3 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup sunflower oil

2 tsp orange oil extract
1-1/4 cup plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder

For the chocolate ganache

200g 85% dark chocolate, broken into pieces

1 tsp orange oil extract
225ml double cream

Method:

Ganache

Make the chocolate ganache first, as it will take time for it to cool to spreading consistency. To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream to boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for 3 minutes, then stir till the mixture is glossy and smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread.

Cake

1. Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through).

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Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until soft,

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then puree it.

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2. Preheat the oven to 180/375F. Spray a round 9" cake tin (or a bundt tin) with Pam.

3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave - 2 minutes on high, stir, then heat for 45 seconds at a time till melted. Let cool.

4. Place the sugar and oil in a large bowl, then add the eggs.

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Beat them lightly till amalgamated, but dont whip it all to a froth.

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5. Gradually beat in the puréed orange.

6. Sift the flour and baking powder, then add it to the batter.

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7. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate

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and mix well.

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8. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven until the cake tests done - in my oven it took about 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

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8. Place the cake on a serving plate, then swirl the prepared ganache over the top (and sides if you like).

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Serve at room temperature with vanilla icecream or Chantilly cream.


RECIPE: DARK CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE


Ingredients:

1 large Minneolas or Seville orange
125g 85% dark chocolate , broken into pieces
3 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup sunflower oil
1-1/4 cup plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder

For the chocolate ganache
200g 85% dark chocolate , broken into pieces
225ml double cream

Method:

Ganache

Make the chocolate ganache first, as it will take time for it to cool to spreading consistency. To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream to boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for 3 minutes, then stir till the mixture is glossy and smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread.

Cake

1. Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through). Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until soft, then puree it.

2. Preheat the oven to 180/375F. Spray a round 9" cake tin (or a bundt tin) with Pam.

3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave - 2 minutes on high, stir, then heat for 45 seconds at a time till melted. Let cool.

4. Place the sugar and oil in a large bowl, then add the eggs. Beat lightly till amalgamated, but dont whip the eggs to a froth.

5. Gradually beat in the puréed orange.

6. Sift the flour and baking powder, then stir it into the batter.

7. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate and mix well.

8. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven until the cake tests done - in my oven it took about 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

9. Place the cake on a serving plate, then swirl the prepared ganache over the top (and sides if you like).

Serve at room temperature with vanilla icecream or Chantilly cream.

4 comments:

Nupur said...

Shammi- great to see you back, with a dark luscious cake no less! Hope all is well with you, and yes, a blog break is much required once in a while.

Shvetha said...

It is most certainly fair and sensible to expect people to show up at your blog step, like some have been doing since your last post :-). So, yay!

Oh, if you ever give this cake a whirl sans eggs, could you please post that too? Thankoo!

Shyam said...

Nupur: Thank you! :)

Shvetha: Aww... that's so nice of you! :) I'll see if I can do this without the eggs... watch this space (once in a while) :D

TheCooker said...

that cake looks seriously good!
chocolate+orange is such a winning combination.