Thursday, 20 November 2008

Barefoot Bonus Day, Part 2 - Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes

The second Barefoot Blogging Bonus comes to us from Lisa from Lime in the Coconut. Lisa chose Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes from Barefoot Contessa Parties! page 206. The online recipe is for 6 mini cakes and the recipe in the book is for one large Bundt cake. I chose to do the mini cakes as I love to have a reason to use one of my Nordic Ware mini cake tins. They just make me happy. (No I don't work for Nordic Ware but I would gladly change my name to Nordic Ware for free product!)

Ok, to the food: My goodness these were good! I am hit or miss on orange zest, I only like it some of the time. And I have to be in the mood for chocolate (sinful as that sounds to confirmed chocoholics). But these cakes were so moist and flavourful. The syrup really is the key here, don't skip it. I liked them even better the next day, the flavours had a chance to meld. Definitely a winner. But then again, it's Ina - what did you expect?

Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes
Serves: 6 servings
1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/8 cup grated orange zest (2 large oranges)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 ounces buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup good semisweet chocolate chunks

For the syrup: 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

For the ganache: 4 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 6 individual serving baking molds, such as the flexible non stick 100 percent silicone molds. I used this pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the orange zest.
Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 1 tablespoon flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the molds on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pans, put them on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cakes.

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