Thursday, November 20, 2008

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

When I first saw the recipes for this month's double-header bonus for the Barefoot Bloggers, I was thrilled to have a cake to make. Not only do I love chocolate and orange as a flavour combination, I had the perfect opportunity to serve it up, with a gorgeous old friend coming from the country for morning tea.
Lisa from Lime in the Coconut had chosen mini-chocolate chunk cakes as her reward for designing our very pretty Barefoot avatar (well done Lisa). Unfortunately, I felt that a platter with a few mini-cakes would look odd at morning tea (even for me, although my friend has known me long enough not to worry), so I decided to revert to the original recipe in "Barefoot Contessa: Parties" for a large bundt cake. There was a bit of work involved and a lot of washing up (a total of about 12 pans, bowls and measuring cups), however this cake will be revisited because it has a great flavour, is lovely and moist, and the ganache is so shiny and beautiful. (Trap for young players - if you are chopping up your own chocolate to make the chunks, make sure you chop it into relatively small pieces, as too large a chunk is definitely too much of a good thing).
Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

250g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup grated orange zest (3-4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tbls
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks
For the syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For the ganache:
4 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and flour a large bundt pan. 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, 1 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 tbls flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the tops, 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.

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 pans, put them on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
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 cakes.


Rebecca said...

This looks fantastic! I love it as a bundt cake. Can't wait to tackle this one myself.

Debinhawaii said...

Wow--your cake is gorgeous--what a lucky friend that came to visit! Great job!

Natashya said...

Your friend must have been thrilled to be greeted with this cake - wonderful!

Maria said...

I can't wait to make this cake. I might try the minis since I got a new pan!

Lorraine E said...

Bundt cakes always look so gorgeous and this is no exception. I love the chocolate drips down the side too

Summer said...

Yummy. Now I wish I had made the cake too.

Lisa said...

I skipped the bonus recipe but after seeing yours, I want a slice!

Sara said...

This looks delicious, I've had my eye on this recipe for a long time!

Squishy said...

Oh I just love the Barefoot Contessa, Mrs Ina Garten is just wonderful and how much she adores her cute husband. They are just gorgeous together. Your cake looks excellent. Choc and Orange always a winning combo.