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It’s a darn good thing that there haven’t been more dessert recipes chosen for the BB recipes because, seriously, if all of Ina’s sweets turn out like this one, I’m in trouble. This cake was sneak-an-extra-piece-or-two-while-nobody-is-looking good. I’ve known for a while that orange and chocolate is an awesome combination and since making some delectable Christmas treats last year, I’ve been totally sold on the combination. So after Lisa of Lime in the Coconut told me that she was choosing Ina’s Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake as her BRC recipe for creating the winning avatar, I did a little dance in my office. Not kidding.

The only issue I had with this recipe was that it was for mini cakes. While they look so cute in other blogs, I wasn’t keen on buying new pans for mini cakes…for whatever reason, my brain was focused on these being mini Bundt cakes. Anywho, my issue was solved when I got home and found in Barefoot Contessa Parties! (page 206) that the book recipe calls for a full-sized Bundt pan. I knew that a whole cake would be too much for just Kyle and I, especially considering he’s not a huge fan of orange in dessert (not that he knows what he’s talking about… ;) but we had planned to have dinner at my mother-in-law’s house that weekend so I knew that some of it would be eaten then and the rest I could bring to work on Monday with the intention that it would be gone in a matter of hours.

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Let me tell you. I’ve dreamed about this cake since I made it a few weeks back. It was so incredible that I went out and splurged on 2 mini Bundt pans (12 Bundts in each pan) so that I can make these cakes for guests or to give away as gifts during the holidays. The orange and chocolate combination was of course just lovely and the ganache…oh the ganache! I actually used a combo of bittersweet (60% cacao) and semi-sweet chips for the chips in the cake and for the ganache and the combination was to die for. Semi-sweet on its own would have been overkill for me. I skipped the orange syrup that the recipe called for because I thought there was enough orange flavor and sweetness already in the cake and I’m so glad I did – the cake definitely was moist and flavorful enough without the syrup.

So needless to say, these cakes will make a reappearance very soon, next time in mini form. A big THANKS! goes out to Lisa for choosing this recipe – you’ve outdone yourself both with the awesome avatar that you created for the group and with this recipe.

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Please note: I am posting the recipe for mini cakes below. The full-size Bundt version differs slightly (it isn’t a fully doubled recipe) so if you don’t have BC Parties! and would like the recipe modification, please leave a comment below and I will post the modifications as a comment.

Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, page 206

  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/8 cup grated orange zest (2 large oranges)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 ounces buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup good semisweet chocolate chunks

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For the syrup

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

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For the ganache

  • 4 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 6 individual serving baking molds, such as the flexible non stick 100 percent silicone molds.
  2. 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.
  3. Sift together 1 1/2 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 1 tablespoon flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the molds on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.