January 15, 2012

2/52 Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

I loooove the combination of chocolate and orange. And I love Joy the Baker.
So it makes total sense to try the Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake from Joy's website, right?
Glad you agree.

To me, chocolate and orange is a perfect combination for wintery days. But then again, it's a very summery combination as well. I guess it's that sweet freshness, or fresh sweetness, that is appealing year-round.
And that very 70s brown-orange color combo which immediately comes to mind when thinking about chocolate and oranges makes me feel all warm inside. Probably because it's the decade I was born in...

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker (who adapted it from - but didn't link to - the Gourmet Cookbook)
  • 565 g (3 1/2 cups) flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 226 g (2 sticks or 1/2 pound) butter at room temperature
  • 430 g (2 cups) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 450 g (2 cups) sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) chocolate chips
    My modifications:
    To reduce my consumption of sugar just a little bit, I reduced it by 45 g (a little less than 1/4 cup) which means that I used 385 g (or about 1 3/4 cups).
    Instead of orange extract, I used 100 ml (a little over 3 oz) Cinzano Orancio, an orange flavored Vermouth. Just because I wanted to try that.
    My batter turned out a little too thick, so I added orange juice to both batters, 200 ml (a little over 6.5 oz) each. I figured that a little orange flavor wouldn't hurt the chocolate batter.
    I used chocolate cubes instead of chips simply because you cannot buy chocolate chips in Switzerland or Germany (or I just haven't seen them...). It's either tiny cubes or so-called 'drops'. Not a huge difference when used for baking though...
      • Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).  
      • Combine sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
      • Beat together butter and sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  
      • Add one egg at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla.  
      • At low speed, mix in half of the flour mixture until just blended.  Add sour cream, mixing until just combined, then add remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth.
      • Divide the batter evenly into two bowls. Stir in orange extract and orange zest in one bowl, cocoa powder and chocolate chips in the other bowl.
      • Pour the orange batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Pour the chocolate batter on top of the orange batter. Swirl together if you want to.
      • Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the 'wooden stick test').
      • Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Let it cool completely on a cooling rack, removed from the pan. 
        Just like last week, I had to bake this cake a little longer: 80 minutes total. This might be due to two reasons: I think that the Bundt cake pan I used (a silicone one) is not perfect and requires longer baking. This happened to me before when using this pan, I am not even sure if I will use it again. Another reason might be that my oven is not heating accurately. I have never used an oven thermometer until now but will buy one tomorrow. Should be an inexpensive but important addition to my kitchen tools.

        But back to the cake: the orange flavor was not as strong as I would have wanted it to be, so if I make it again, I will definitely use more orange zest/extract/juice.

        What is your favorite combination of flavors? 
        And what are your experiences with baking times & oven temperatures?

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