Chocolate Orange Sponge Cake

Mar 22, 2015

Is there anything more enticing than the shine of chocolate ganache hugging a moist chocolate orange cake? Me thinks not!

I loved making this cake.

I abandoned my beloved Kitchen Aid and picked up my grandmothers wooden spoon (so many memories in this one piece of smooth wood) to connect with the ingredients and make this cake the old fashioned way … with a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of lovin' .

There is something so cathartic in the simple task of sifting, stirring and becoming engrossed in the 'doing' .

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The end result was not affected by the lack of machinery used and in fact I took a little more pride in serving it knowing I had put my heart into the centre of its chocolatey crumb.

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So my question to you today, dear reader, is what can/do you incorporate into your life that gives you a sense of achievement and allows your heart to sing? 

I feel strongly that we all need an outlet of some sort to give us our essence back and a smile on our faces.

For me, this is spending time in my kitchen, stepping outside daily to deeply breathe and walk, and connecting with my family and friends….what rocks your world? I would love to hear :)

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Here's how to make this simple chocolate orange cake. Nobody will know how simple this cake is so take a bow and impress your family!

Chocolate Orange Cake

1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated sugar 
Zest of 2 oranges
2 large eggs 
1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable oil 
1/2 cup (115 grams) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup (65 grams) cocoa powder 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 cup (237 ml) buttermilk
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 180°

Grease 2 x 8 inch cake tins

In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar with orange zest, rubbing it between your fingers to release the oils. Beat in the eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract until well combined. 

Gradually mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, alternating with splashes of buttermilk. Stir until batter is uniform.

Divide batter evenly between baking pans and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs. While cakes are cooling, use a fork to poke a few holes in the top of the cake and evenly brush on the orange juice so it soaks in. Cool cakes to room temperature (or chill) before frosting.

Chocolate Orange Frosting

This makes a lot of frosting....if you want a thick layer then stick to these quantities otherwise reduce by a third.

12 ounces (340 grams) semi-sweet chocolate
8 tablespoons (113 grams) butter
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup (115 grams) sour cream
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)
Orange zest, for garnish (optional)

In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter on low until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest, sour cream, and orange liqueur.

Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes to thicken.

To assemble, carefully place one layer of cake onto a serving platter, brushed side up.

Spoon glaze onto surface until desired thickness. Arrange the second cake layer on top of the first and frost the cake with remaining glaze.

Before serving, dust the top of the cake with orange zest.

Thank you to the Pastry Affair for this recipe

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Category: Eat

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