I’ve been wanting to make Ina Garten’s Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake ever since I laid eyes on it on Deb’s smittenkitchen website blog (my favorite!). Several years later, I magically had all the ingredients on hand and although I didn’t have a special occassion to make the cake for, I decided it was now or never!
The batter was billowy and scented with orange and I could tell that some big chocolate chunks were the perfect compliment! I was so excited as it baked and the wonderful smell filled the house. I cooked the orange glaze as the cake cooled in the pan for ten minutes, eagerly anticipating the first bite. But when I turned it over, nothing happened. OH NO. It was stuck! I shook it and shook it, banged and banged. Then finally….
It came loose, looking like the Cookie Monster had gotten ahold of it! My perfect, lovely cake…ruined.
OK, I stirred the chocolate chunks with flour as per the recipe directions. So WHY did they all sink to the bottom and stick to the pan, despite this precaution? I need some help here.
It’s not a good idea for me to be baking on an empty stomach b/c I get cranky when I’m hungry and stress tends to make me overeat. I was so mad when I turned the pan upside down and several pieces stuck that instead of trying to press them back into place as I usually would, I ate everything sticking to the pan in a fit of rage. The cake was wonderful, as expected, and the excessive ratio of chocolate helped calm me down, but I was still upset enough that I couldn’t resist licking all the excess chocolate ganache that dripped off the cake onto the plate below. Mmmm, ganache–the cure for all that ails you!
Anyway, the ganache covered up most of the ugliness, although you could still see dips and valleys, but Den’s co-workers couldn’t care less about the appearance of the treats I send with him, especially when they taste this good.
Ina Garten’s Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
From Barefoot Contessa Parties! (Directions modified by Veronica)
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup grated orange zest (from 4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Liberally grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
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, one at a time, then the orange zest.
3. 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 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the top, 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.
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 pan, set it on a rack over a tray, and apply the glaze to the cake with a pastry brush. Allow the cake 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 cake.