I made this cake twice… I had two fresh orange recipes for cake in my winter pile of “desserts-to-try.” The first used an entire whole orange, poached in simple syrup and pureed down into a luscious blend of oranges and sour cream… Sound intriguing?  (It did not turn out – in fact I dreamed about it that night, and in my dream I was making the cake on the Food Network show, “Worst Cook in America.” Anne Burrell told me the cake looked like a sponge. It went downhill from there…)

But fresh orange was still rolling around in my mind, and after all, I have no shortage of recipes in the “wanna make this” pile… So I made the second cake. This one uses orange zest and orange juice and is topped with a smooth chocolate glaze that was calling my name, saying, “Chocolate and orange make everything better…”

And thankfully, success! It turned out with a bakery-style flat top, which is so exciting for me, and the orange flavor seems to be pronounced and subtle all at the same time! It tastes absolutely delicious, and totally satisfied every orange-centric craving that I had! (And no one asked me to demonstrate it on national television, thank goodness!!!) Enjoy!

Gather Up:
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
Zest of 2 large organic oranges
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla

For the Glaze:
5 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
¾ cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Combine the buttermilk, orange juice, lemon juice and vanilla.

Cream the butter and sugar until lightened and creamy. Mix in the orange zest.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.

Add 1/3 of the flour and mix until incorporated. Add ½ the liquid mixture and mix until incorporated. Continue with 1/3 of the flour, then the remaining ½ of the liquid, finishing with the last 1/3 of the flour. Blend just until it begins to look nearly mixed.

Remove from mixer and use a spatula to finish mixing with a few folds.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth to level.

Bake until golden and a wooden pick comes out clean, 28 – 34 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.

Turn out onto a cooling rack and peel off the parchment paper. Cool completely.

For the chocolate glaze, place the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream just to the boiling point. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes. Stir slowly and gently until the mixture comes together. (If a little graininess remains in the sauce, depending on the type of chocolate you used, transfer the sauce to a double boiler and heat and stir for about 10 minutes until smooth and no grains of chocolate remain.) Cool the sauce until it is a nice pouring consistency and pour over cake.  Let it firm up before cutting the cake.

Recipe from: Pastry Studio