Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blood Orange Chocolate Cake

So earlier this week, it was once again a coworker's birthday. I showed her the list of "Cakes to Try" and she picked out a Blood Orange Cake I had found in Cooking Light. It took me a couple of tries, but I eventually found blood oranges at Giant.

Blood oranges from Giant

I initially tried to make this recipe from Cooking Light magazine in December 2002. I noticed when I was putting together the ingredients for the cake that there was no leavening agent, but I figured maybe they knew something I didn't. Anyway, I was right. Without baking soda/powder, the cake did not rise and instead I had a thick, flat ugly pancake thingy. C even took a bite out of it, but found it inedible and gross.

Thick, flat, ugly pancake thingy

So, I had already juiced my blood oranges and frantically searched the internet for a new recipe. I came across this recipe on a fellow food blog for a blood orange and chocolate cake and figured I'd try it. I'm reprinting it here simply because the blog entry has all the ingredients in metric.

From anapestic, Feb. 25, 2006

Difficulty: Easy to moderate (it requires both zesting and juicing, which were not difficult for me because I have several zesters and an electric juicer but would be irritating if you did not have those things)
Eat Rating: My coworkers were generally positive, but not overwhelmingly so. I thought it was pretty great, though, considering the dire straights I was in during the baking process

3 blood oranges
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup milk
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms of two 9-inch cake pans, cut rounds of parchment or wax paper to place in bottom, then grease the rounds.

Zest the oranges (the zest came to about 2 tbsp per orange) then mix with sugar in a food processor.

Blood orange zest mixed with sugar

Squeeze juice from oranges, place in glass bowl and microwave for three to four minutes or until reduced. Place in freezer to cool down.

In a separate bowl, mix eggs, 1/4 cup of milk and vanilla extract. In another bowl, place flour, baking powder and zesty sugar. Mix. Add butter. Mix again. Add 3/4 cup milk and mix for about three minutes. Add reduced blood orange juice. Mix again. Add egg mixture gradually, mixing between each addition.

Split the batter between the two greased cake pans and bake for about 35 minutes. Let cakes cool for 15-20 minutes in pan, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Anapestic said the ganache was a little too intense for the cake, so I made a chocolate buttercream frosting instead.


1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tsp triple sec or other orange liqueur
3/4 cup cocoa powder

Cream butter in a small bowl. Add cocoa powder and mix completely. Add triple sec and whipping cream and mix till consistent throughout. Gradually add the powdered sugar until desired thickness.

I frosted the cake, then peeled the remaining oranges and garnished the top with segments. After awhile, I got tired of removing the pith from the various segments, so instead of a circle, my coworkers got a smiley face.

My coworker, J., with her cake

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