Orange you glad it's my birthday?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

For my birthday a week and a half ago, I wanted to bake my own cake (of course).  But when it comes to desserts, I’m not really a cake person.  I toyed with the idea of baking a birthday Apple Pear Cherry Crisp, but in the end tradition won out.  And I found a gorgeous recipe for Orange Chocolate Chunk cake in Barefoot Contessa Parties.

Cleverly I decided that, rather than baking a regular size cake, I’d make half a recipe in a 6-cup bundt pan, avoiding the leftovers and the temptation that come with a full cake.

I hadn't baked a bundt cake before, so I was nervous about unmolding it.  After some research, I found a great technique for removing bundt cakes from the pan that worked perfectly. I’ve included it at the bottom of the recipe.

What I should have worried about, given that I was guessing at baking time, was whether the cake was actually done.  The girls were watching as I took it out of the oven.  Our “Oooh”s at seeing the perfectly formed cake pop out of the pan turned into “AAAAH!”s when the squishy insides started oozing their way out.  I propped the shell up with a few ramekins and stuffed it back into the oven so it could finish baking.  But, flattened and misshapen, it wasn’t camera-ready.  So I made the recipe again last week, thereby nullifying any benefits of making half a cake.

The great news is, I loved it!  It was so orange-y, every bite tasted like summer sunshine. I kept the same amount of orange glaze called for in the original recipe and it was just perfect.  Next time, I might even make it without the chocolate ganache.  The sweet orange cake studded with chunks of chocolate was so wonderful, it didn’t need an adornment at all. 


Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
(adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties)

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
zest of two oranges
1 1/2 cups flour, plus one tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
6 Tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup good semisweet chocolate chunks

For the syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

For the ganache:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 Tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 6 cup bundt pan.  Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for about five minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, 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 1 Tbsp flour and add to the batter.  Pour into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, 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 pan as specified at the end of the recipe, set it on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cake.  Allow it to cool completely.

For the ganache, melt the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.  Drizzle over the top of the cake.

To remove bundt cake from the pan:

Just before the cake is done baking, place a folded towel in the sink and saturate it with steaming hot water.  When the cake comes out of the oven, set it on top of the towel, pan side down, and leave it for ten seconds.  Immediately invert the cake onto a cooling rack.  The cake will come out clean and whole without sticking.  Be careful because cakes are very delicate when hot and can break apart easily.  If it starts to break apart, leave it in its pan to cool for 20 minutes and try again.

41 comments:

My Little Space said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Beth! What a lovely cake for your special day. You should have told us earlier! Wishing you the very best and may many more happy returns....
Blessings, Kristy

Dishesdone said...

Happy Birthday! Looks like a great way to celebrate with such a great looking cake!

highlandsranchfoodie said...

Ina never disappoints. Happy Birthday!

Claudia said...

I'd leave it in the pan for 20 minutes! But the cake is grand (how great to have an excuse to make it again) and Ina knows her stuff. My daughter requested a chocolate-orange cake for her birthday. Great minds and all of that...

katerina said...

Happy Birthday Beth! Your cake has all the right ingredients to become a success in my home.

jillbert said...

Happy birthday! Thanks for the cool tip on getting a bundt cake out of the pan!

Emma said...

Happy birthday for the other day! :)

That cake looks scrumptious, I've not made a bundt cake before as I don't have the proper tin, I must remedy that.

Valerie said...

A very Happy (belated) Birthday to you, Beth!

I'll have to remember that bundt cake removal tecnhique. This looks like a delicious one, orange and chocolate are a hot combination. :)

Foodessa said...

One of my very favourite combos is orange and chocolate...what a great pick Beth ;o)
Happy B-day and even though it has passed...there's no reason not to enjoy the celebration any time is there?

Thanks for sharing one of Ina's cakes...I didn't have this recipe ;)

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Brenda said...

Happy Belated Birthday Beth! I'm glad I'm not the only one who makes her own birthday cake. :o) Orange and chocolate is a fabulous combination and thanks for the tip on how to get the cake out of the pan easily. I never knew that! Hope you had a lovely day.

Jess said...

Looks like it turned out great! Thanks for the bundt pan tip--I'll definitely be trying it :)

Sue said...

I love bundt cakes! I love their density and the fact that they're so good, even without frosting:) Thanks for the tip on getting it out of the pan easily! Glad you enjoyed your birthday cake!

Julie said...

Happy Birthday!!! Beautiful cake! Wonder if I could change out the orange for lemon??

LDH said...

It sure does look delicious! The flavor combination sounds so good! Happy belated birthday :)

Nirmala said...

Happy Belated birthday! Wonderful cake.

Victoria said...

Happy belated birthday, Beth!! I've made this cake before and it was delicious! I love the Barefoot Contessa recipes :)

ezsrecipes.com said...

Happy belated birthday! It's kind of funny, your post made me think back to my birthday party last week, when I made the sugar cookie bars I posted about... a friend told me she felt bad that I made my own cake for my birthday party... but I really didn't care, because I enjoyed it so much. So I can totally relate! Your cake looks wonderful!

Pam said...

My husband loves orange and chocolate together...I may have to make this for his next b-day.

Happy belated.

Shannon said...

a classic combination! happy birthday :)

Faith said...

Happy birthday Beth. The choclate cake looks great, what makes it even looks greater is the combination of choclate and oranges! :)

Jenn from Much to My Delight said...

I am with you, Beth--cake is not my favorite baked goodie either. But if Ina's behind it, I trust that it must be pretty special. Her recipes never fail. PS: Every time someone writes of bundt cakes I can't help but think of the scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding--"There's a hole in this cake!"

Jeanne said...

I've never made a bundt cake before but I'd certainly be nervous about the removal from the pan! I'm glad that it worked out the second time around. Happy Birthday!

~RED~ said...

Happy belated birthday! :)
I love the sound of the bundt cake, and i would def. keep the ganache or some type of chocolate frosting.

20 York Street said...

Happy, Happy Birthday! Though its late, you can never get enough bday greetings, right?

Maybe someday soon, I can make a cake, let alone a bday cake!

besos,

ML

Win a Yola Couture Designer Dress at:

20 YORK STREET

Karen said...

The cake sounds yummy. I've seen that recipe in her book before, but haven't tried it. It really looks delicious. And great tip for getting the bundt cake out.

Joanne said...

Happy birthday love! I really adore the sound of hte citrus in this and I'm so glad that you saved the almost-cooked cake! That chocolate crust looks fantastic.

Reeni said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Orange and chocolate are a lovely combo in a cake - especially a bundt. I love the little chunks of chocolate in the middle!

Kristen said...

Happy Birthday! Those bundt are tricky things. Too bad you had to bake two. The second was definitely camera worthy. It looks wonderful.

Bake-A-Holic said...

Linked to your site through a comment you left on another blog. I'm excited to see the books you have written! I'll check out your other site now.

Emily said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like a great cake :)

Barbara Bakes said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like a flavor combination I would love too.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Beth, and thank you for your visit! I love anything with chocolate in it but the citrus gives it an added freshness. It sounds delicious!

Rita said...

Happy Birthday! I do love bundt cakes, but I never makethem anymore with only the 2 of us.I have never heard of a 6 inch bundt cake pan, but you can be sure it will be on Christmas list.IT looks so good; thank you for sharing about removing from the pan.

Barbara said...

Happy belated Birthday!
Love orange and chocolate together!
We all have our secrets... I learned mine from Maida Heatter's books....she always greases and then dusts her pans with fine bread crumbs. I've never had a problem yet.

Carolyn said...

Great tip for unmolding bundt cakes! Sorry about the first cake not being quite done. The one that you pictured looks wonderful!

Chow and Chatter said...

love this could I feature it on a FL citrus growers blog and link to you drop me a line rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com

Amie Kaufman said...

Happy birthday rather late! Let this experience be a lesson to you about baking smaller cakes--the universe wants you to eat leftovers. Embrace it.

shaz said...

Happy belated Birthday Beth! And what a great tip for unmoulding bundts, mine often get stuck, yikes!

rita said...

This cake looks and sounds amazing! What a lovely way to celebrate your birthday -- a treat for the whole family!

Sophie said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you dear Beth!! Yeah!! That cake with the frosting looks so tasty & appetizing,..;yummmm!

Grapefruit said...

Belated Happy Birthday! Sorry, I've been kind of away from the blogosphere all month except for putting up two measly posts - and so I missed seeing this earlier.
Chocolate & Orange - what is not to love? The cake sounds so wonderful, I'll bookmark this one to try out soon.

Post a Comment