Made for my sister’s birthday – super chocolatey cake (moist but lightweight; I wouldn’t use fondant with this) with orange frosting filling and orange chocolate ganache. This is a pretty rich cake, so I think a 6-inch round was a good size for a small at-home birthday party. The lumpiness was not on purpose. This is a mashup of a few internet recipes.
The original cake recipe is here. Ina Garten also has a pretty much identical version with more fancy-sounding ingredients, but I thought that the one without kosher salt (gasp) came out fine. It is sized for two 9-inch rounds or a 9×13, but I did two 6-inch rounds and 10 cupcakes.
- Butter to grease pans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour + extra to flour pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder (unsweetened, non-dutch)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I used a short americano for some more condensed espresso flavor)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour the pans (this is super important; this cake falls apart easily. Actually, I might try lining them with greased/floured parchment next time). Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and then add the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for two minutes (the batter will be thin). Pour into prepared pans – pans should not be more than 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean.
- 2 9-in or 2 8-in pans: 30 to 40 minutes
- 2 6-in pans: 25 to 35 minutes
- Cupcakes: ~20 minutes
Cool for 10 minutes, invert onto parchmented wire rack and finish cooling.
Orange Buttercream Frosting Filling:
Original recipe here. Ingredients:
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (can increase for more orangey-ness)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons (closer to 3) orange juice (fresh-squeezed is best – a couple navel oranges will do the trick)
Cream butter until fluffy. Beat in the sugar, orange peel and vanilla (this is hard; it will mostly be powdery). Add enough orange juice to get to a frosting consistency. Makes about 1 cup; this is enough to fill between 2 6-in rounds but if you’re wanting any more than that, I would make multiples of this recipe.
Chocolate Orange Ganache:
Basic ganache recipe is here. I doubled it and added flavoring. This is a solid chocolate ganache for pouring or whipping, with or without added flavorings.
- 18 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
Bring cream to boiling (watch it carefully; it will boil over). Put the chocolate into a medium-sized bowl. Pour heated cream over the chocolate, whisk until smooth. Whisk in liqueur. For pouring, allow the ganache to cool for a few minutes. For whipping, let it cool until thick (30 or 40 minutes) and then whip with a hand mixer or whisk until fluffy.
This cake is super moist and crumbly, so my attempt came out a little lumpy because it fell apart as I was taking it out of the pan. To remedy, I used the buttercream to fill the layers it and then had to use the leftovers to crumb coat the sides.
I poured unwhipped ganache over the crumb-coated cake, and then whipped the remainder to use in frosting the cupcakes. I added some bordering to cover the crappy-looking bottom edges. There was a lot of leftover ganache, so someone more industrious could probably have gone farther with that. I garnished the cake with more orange zest and some chocolate orange Pirouline-type cookies from World Market. I garnished the cupcakes with candied orange peel and some leftover chocolate chips from the ganache recipe. Hooray!