Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dark Chocolate-Orange Cake

But first, apparently my habits are catching on…


Brian: “I learned this from you!” 


Of course, then I made him stay there while I got my camera take a picture of him taking a picture of his beer :)

Ok, back to the dark chocolate!


This weekend was my friend Jenny’s bridal shower!  I offered to make a dessert and was asked to take care of the “chocolate” dessert.  Mmmm no problems there ;)

Of course I racked my brain for a while trying to think of something that would really satisfy a chocolate craving, as well as be very visually appealing.  When I learned there was no cake planned so far, I took that as my sign!

I went with one of my favorite flavor combinations:

Chocolate + Orange

This cake became a compilations of a few different recipes and my own ideas.

The shower was on a Saturday, so to save some time I made the cake on Wednesday night and wrapped it tight in plastic until frosting time Friday night.

The Cake 

I referenced this recipe for Double Chocolate Layer Cake for the cake and the ganache.

It started with a lot of this:


and this:


The cake recipe has coffee in it which I love…you can’t taste the coffee at all but it just makes the chocolate so much more intense!



Instead a round cake, I made 2 9” square layers.  They baked for about 50-55 min…a little less than the original recipe states. IMG_9914
(before going into the oven)

The Filling

The hardest part for me was figuring out what type of filling I wanted.  I didn’t want to make my usual buttercream (it’s delicious, but not the best looking and doesn’t hold up as well).

Then I was thinking more of a mousse-like filling, but really didn’t want to make a mousse.  It was Friday night and I wanted something a little simpler.  My final decision was the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe from my Joy of Cooking cookbook.  Recipe can also be found here.

It’s very similar to an Italian Buttercream, but a little easier as it doesn’t involve a cooked sugar syrup. 


I made a half-batch as I just needed it for the filling, and added about:

  • 1 T Grand Marnier
  • 1 T orange zest


The first part involved whipping a meringue-like mixture over heat, then continuing the whipping on high in the stand mixer. 



It was like clouds of marshmallow!  Those are some stiff peaks!!



It was then whipped in with butter…mmmm. 


I then assembled the layers and got to work on the chocolate-orange ganache frosting!




The Ganache Frosting

I went back to the original recipe.

I used Trader Joe’s chocolate



I didn’t have light corn syrup, but used 1T of dark corn syrup and it turned out delicious.  I also added another splash of Grand Marnier and orange zest from about 1/2 of an orange. 


Ganache is very easy to make.  The only pain was waiting for it to thicken up to a consistency where I could spread it.  I put the bowl in the freezer for about 5 min or so to speed that up :)


Then I spread.  I loved how dark and shiny it was…I looks like velvet!  You could pour or spread this on anything!  Let it harden up even more and make some truffles!



Finishing Touch

My final touch was making some candied orange zest for a garnish. 

First some shots of the cake the next morning in some natural light!



I used this zester to peel strips off of an orange.  The strips are then boiled, drained, and re-cooked in a sugar/water mixture until they get kind of clear.



Let them sit and cool for a bit, then coat in sugar!





I LOVE how it came out!  It was delicious too!!  Very rich, very intense-chocolate flavor, with a subtle orange background flavor. 


I need more reasons to make cakes :)           IMG_9959


  1. The cake looks great! I love that combination as well.

    Isn't Trader Joe's great for baking goods? I always use their chocolate!

  2. oh it is simply beautiful! I love the orange pieces on top too- such a classy finishing touch. hahah I've caught Josh photographing his beer before and thought the same thing

  3. That cake looks amazing. My husband likes to take pictures of his beer also and wants me to post it. So funny.

  4. The cake looks amazing! I might even try overcome my fear of chocolate and orange together to sample this beauty!

  5. ha! I must have rubbed off on my husband too - he insisted photographing his breakfast one morning on vacation after a few days where I only took pics of my own plate ;)

    Your cake looks fab!

  6. that is an intense cake making process, but you did a wonderful job! love the orange on top. so pretty. and that whipped cream! ahhhhh!

  7. Gorgeous presentation Bridget! Love that candied orange peel-so pretty.

  8. YUMM-O!
    That cake looked amazing, Bridget!
    Holy YUM.
    Loved that Brian pic, too. It looks like your habits are really catching up, haha :D
    Wish you a lovely week, girl!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  9. that looks amazing! and a fabulous flavor combo :)

  10. hi there!! i just found your blog and this was such a perfect introductory recipe to Yogurt and Berries. :) I'm a sucker for chocolate and orange, and what a gorgeous cake this is. It's not easy at all to bake from scratch, especially if there are a ton of ingredients and things to make! You did an awesome awesome job!!

  11. Orange and chocolate are such a great combo and I love the candied orange garnish on top!