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 and 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.
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.
What Kind of Chocolate for Ganache?
The orange and chocolate combination was of course just lovely and the ganache…oh the ganache! I 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. For me, 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.
And if you love the flavors of orange and chocolate together, let me also point you in the direction of my orange cranberry chocolate chunk cake. I know you love it!!
For the cake
- 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup grated orange zest (4 large oranges)
- 3 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¾ cup liquid buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
For the syrup (optional):
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For the ganache:
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (high quality, like Ghirardelli, is best for melting)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan (or use baking spray, like Pam).
- Sift together 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Set both bowls aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then the orange zest.
- Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir them into the batter. Pour the batter into the pans, smooth the top, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the molds 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 pan, put it on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the still-warm cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.
- To make the ganache: Place the chocolate chips and instant coffee in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan just until small bubbles start to form at the edges of the pan. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir with a silicone spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth and glossy. Drizzle the chocolate over the top of the cake. Allow the chocolate to set up for 10 minutes, then serve.
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten
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