Orange Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Compote

One of my goals for cooking in 2012 is “seasonal.”  Seasonal eating isn’t one of those hokey new-age eating fads, it’s one of the most simple and beautiful ways to fuel your body.  The earth is offering up these fruits and veggies at a certain time, practically begging us to eat them.  How cool is that?!

So what does this have to do with an orange chocolate cake? I’m getting to that.  Blood oranges are currently “in season” in my area and I’ve been dying to throw them into a delicious dish.  Enter… the cake!

For some strange reasons blood oranges remind me of blood sausage, which reminds me of Groundhog Day – the mind works in mysterious days.  I digress.  Blood oranges are fabulous little fruits that offer more bitter than sweet and also gorgeous color.

This cake is divine.  I say that about a lot of cakes, but the fact that I’m not a dessert person should add to the credibility of that statement.  Orange and chocolate form this beautiful relationship that results in an explosion of epic mouth satisfaction.

The sauce that results from the compote is way more than you need, so, hello, COCKTAIL TIME!  This syrup is great mixed with vodka, gin, bourbon or champagne.

The recipe comes from Bon Appetit, and I’ve adapted it slightly.  I used more Grand Marnier, naturally, and instead of glazing only the top, I used it over the entire cake.  I also increased the cook time to about an hour.  I skip the parchment lined cake pan and spray that sucker with a ton of Baker’s Joy spray.  I’ve given up on the double boiler method for melting chocolate and gone to the microwave – 1 minute increments at 50%, stirring after each time, being sure not to let it burn.

Pour some extra blood orange sauce over the cake and serve to anyone needing a serious dose of comfort food.  Enjoy!

Orange Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Compote

Ingredients:

Compote:

3 medium or 4 small blood oranges

2 1/2 cups (or more) water

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur

Cake:

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur

finely grated peel from one blood orange

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

Glaze:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

2 tablespoons dark corn syrup

Directions:

For compote:

Cut ends off oranges. Cut oranges with peel lengthwise in half, then cut each half lengthwise into 3 wedges. Combine 2 1/2 cups water and sugar in large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add orange wedges to syrup and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until orange peel is soft and translucent, and syrup is reduced and thickened, turning orange wedges occasionally and adding more water by 1/4 cupfuls as needed if syrup is too thick before orange wedges are soft, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in orange liqueur. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer to small container. Cover and chill.

For cake:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Lightly butter 10-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter parchment.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Combine chocolate and butter in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water; stir until chocolate-butter mixture is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water; add both sugars, orange liqueur, and orange peel and whisk until blended (mixture will look grainy). Add eggs, 2 at a time, and whisk until just blended after each addition. Whisk in sour cream. Add flour mixture and stir in with rubber spatula just until incorporated. Transfer batter to prepared pan; spread evenly.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cake to loosen. Invert cake onto rack; peel off parchment. Cool cake completely.

For glaze:

Combine chocolate and butter in small metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water; stir until chocolate-butter mixture is melted and smooth. Whisk in corn syrup. Cool glaze until barely warm but still pourable, about 10 minutes.

Pour glaze onto center of cake. Using small offset spatula, spread glaze over top of cake, leaving 1/2-inch plain border around top edge. Let stand at room temperature until glaze sets, about 2 hours.  Cover with cake dome and store at room temperature.

Using hot dry knife and wiping knife clean between slices, cut cake into slices. Divide among plates. Serve some candied orange compote alongside.

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3 thoughts on “Orange Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Compote

  1. Pingback: für Loadtage und andere Tage – Rezepte, die ich unbedingt testen muß « weekswithout

  2. Pingback: Let’s Get Social! | The Future of Social Media

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