No hearts, no pinks, no frills. Only an intensely indulgent, not so good looking, orange chocolate cake. The day is just an excuse to indulge ourselves.
That was our Valentine’s day this year. Yes I am running this late in posting! Can you tell that it takes me more than 2 months to post a recipe after I make it?
We are not the kind we celebrates Valentine’s day in a mushy rosy way. And this time it being on a week day, it made it even more casual and as good or bad, whatever way you want to see it, as another week day. I had been in school volunteering for the parties and other things almost all day. So I barely got any time to even cook any dinner at home.
The cake had been made a day earlier with the Valentine’s day treat for everyone in mind. I chose chocolate and orange as we all really love them together. I have the least patience to decorate a cake. It is fine for me as long as it tastes good and is “presentable”.
The orange slices inside the cake were really good (probably only for the adults ..!) ; but my little one declared that she would have liked the cake better if it was only orange cream and no slices. And this is from someone who will remove all cream and frosting from any cake. So the choice is really yours.
The cake will still be fantastic with only the silky smooth refreshing orange cream.. forget the slices if you want, or caramelizing them…
The past few weeks had been the tough, with the girls and me getting sick as if in a race. We are much relieved to start on a good looking and promising week this Monday. I was sorting through the photographs and found some photographs of this cake; the rest must have been deleted somehow. Seems like I am left with the ugly bunch. But before I wander away and get discouraged by the photographs and the look of the cake, I thought the post should be published.
As long as there is chocolate, there is love
The base chocolate cake is similar to the Orange Flavored Chocolate Cake I had posted before. It is a very reliable recipe, quite simple and it has never ever failed me.
Here is a rather messy looking cake, but very very decadent.
Caramelized Orange and Chocolate Layer Cake
Ingredients: (makes a 8 inch, 2 layered cake)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet /or dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 + 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed or store bought)
- 2 cups + 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large egg
- 1 teaspoons pure orange extract or 1/2 tablespoon orange blossom water
- about 1/2 cup orange juice (divided) to soak the cake after baking
For caramelized oranges:
- 8-10 small clementines (sized like a golf ball )
- 4 tablespoon sugar/brown sugar, or as much as you would need (the amount of sugar you will use here depends on how sweet or tart the oranges are; so please adjust amount)
- 3/4 tablespoon butter
For the orange cream:
- 350 ml heavy cream, chilled
- zest of 4-6 oranges
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or as much as you would need it to be sweet enough for you)
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)
Cocoa Powder or Chocolate Shavings for garnish
To prepare the cream:
Make sure the cream is very well chilled. If not place the container on an ice bath and pour cream in it. Combine zest, cream and sugar and whip until stiff peaks forms. Fold in the orange extract and the liqueur if you are using it. Chill.
To caramelize the oranges:
Peel and slice the oranges in circles. Toss them with half the amount of sugar; add a cup of water and simmer them for about 5-8 minutes (time will vary), or until the oranges soften a bit. In a pan wide enough to hold the oranges in a single layer, heat/melt butter. Dust the rest of the sugar on them. Place the orange slices and cook at medium to high heat, only a little while on each side until they are just starting to brown. Over cooking them will burn the sugar and make them bitter.
Remove and save them in a single layer in a tray/plate.
Baking the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2, 8 inch round cake pans with with baking paper liners.
In a pan bring the water and orange juice to a boil; add the sugar and boil until the sugar dissolves completely. Pour it out in a large bowl and add the chocolate, cocoa powder and butter. Gently stir until the chocolate has melted and everything is well combined. Let cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Rub in the orange zest into the flour mix.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, with the sugar chocolate butter mix, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the orange extract/or blossom water.
Add the flour mixture and beat only until just incorporated and smooth.
Divide batter in to 2 pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until risen, and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Cool completely. Remove the baking paper from one cake (the cake to be on the top); you can leave the other liner if you want.
To assemble the cake:
Place the cake to be on the bottom on the serving platter. Poke holes all over the cake and drizzle about 1/4 cup of orange juice, to moisten the cake.
Divide the cold whipped cream in 4 equal parts. Spread one part on the moistened cake.
Divide the caramelized orange slices in 2 parts. Place one half of the slices in a single layer on the cream. Spread another layer of cream over the oranges.
Now place the other cake (without the liner) on the cream. Poke holes in it and soak it with the rest of the orange juice in the same way as you did with the other cake.
Repeat the cream, caramelized orange, and again the cream layer. You may save some oranges to garnish the top of the cake or use fresh slices, or use none at all.
Sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings if you wish.
Chill the cake. Serve cold.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes + chilling time
Baking/Cooking Time: 30 -45 minutes
Makes/Serves: 1 double layered 8 inch cake
Difficulty Level: Moderate