Friday, May 3, 2013
Mini Orange-Chocolate Chunk Bundts
I'm a bit frustrated at the moment. It's 6:45 AM, and I'm just starting to write this post, because I "Instagrammed" (because that's a verb now), a photo of these lovely orange chocolate chunk bundt cakes with chocolate ganache (more on those later), and said they'd be on the blog today (which they are, because I like to keep my promises). I'm writing this post at 6:45 AM out of frustration because I've been up all night working on my final for my studio workshop class that's due on Monday. Sure, I have plenty of time until then, but I have other things to take care of this weekend, and that fact that I've been working all night and am still not happy with how my design looks is just annoying. So, I decided to stop for a bit, and write about cake. That should solve all my problems..or at least distract me for a bit.
These next two weeks are going to be so hellish, I can feel it. I'm SO close to being done with classes and college in general, but it's just so hard to force myself to stay focused. I can literally count using the fingers on one hand the number of things I have left to do before officially being done with all of my classes and finals (one more lecture, one more studio pinup, one final, and one independent research project to go), and while I know that 2 out of the 4 things that remain will be complete by Monday night, it still feels like that is too far off. I just want to be finished already, I'm exhausted! I need a nap, both literally and physically. Ugh.
I might be tired from doing this last stretch of work, but at the same time, I know that the closer I get to finishing, the closer I get to graduating. From college. That's still such a weird idea, and I haven't been able to totally wrap my head around it just yet. That's just tooooo crazy for me to grasp right now. You know what else is crazy? My little sister just decided on the college she's going to be attending in September (woo, Dartmouth!)...where is the time going!? And it's suddenly May?! The year is almost half over?! Ambrosia's second birthday and my 22nd birthday are just around the corner?! Oh geez. My brain is being overloaded with information that it doesn't want to deal with right now. This means that it's cake time. Let's go.
In front of you, you have a mini orange chocolate chunk bundt cake covered in rich chocolate ganache. The title is a bit of a mouthful, but so is this cake. It might be one of my favorite cakes to date. I love bundt cakes because they're just so easy to prepare. They are fuss-free, requiring only a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of icing or chocolate ganache, and are basically foolproof. As long as your cake pan is well-greased and floured, you should have no trouble getting a bundt cake to come out, so any one can make a bundt cake! They're also the perfect kind of cake for snacking on, since they tend to be a little simpler than a rich layer cake covered in frosting. Those kinds of cakes require one to be sitting down, with a fork in one hand, a glass of milk in the other, and a few solid moments to absorb all that sweetness in. Bundt cakes can be sliced, and eaten on the go, or enjoyed quickly with a cup of coffee.
This particular bundt cake is from the Barefoot Contessa. If you're a fan of her's, like I am, you probably could have guessed that this was her recipe, as this cake is one of her most popular recipes, and I always see it floating around online. I had been wanting to make this cake for a while, and when my mom suddenly showed up at home with a giant bag of oranges, I knew then that it was time to break out the old juicer and make some cake. I'm so glad I did, because this cake was perfectly delicious, and I loved it. It was very fluffy, had just enough orange flavoring to confirm that you were indeed eating an orange dessert, and the ganache? Well. Nothing needs to be said about ganache. It's just about the best thing ever, and when poured on top of cake it really can't be beat. Now, in terms of making this cake- it's really just like any other bundt, it takes very little prep-work, and the hardest part of the entire process is probably juicing the oranges, which is obviously not a hard task at all. Here's a quick bit of info about the pan sizes- the recipe, as written, will yield 6 mini bundt cakes, and it is suggested that you use individual, separate baking pans. I don't have 6 separate mini bundt pans (or at least I don't think I do), but I did have one baking pan that had 6 bundt pan wells within it (think something along the lines of a cupcake pan). This kind of pan worked just fine, and if you want to make this recipe as a single cake, then a 6-cup bundt pan should be large enough. Aside from these quick notes, this is one cake that you simply have to try. If you love the combination of orange and chocolate and are in need of a simple dessert, then look no further. This is the recipe for you!
Mini Orange-Chocolate Chunk Bundts
recipe from Ina Garten
For the Bundt Cakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
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 vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
For the Orange Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For the Chocolate Ganache
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
Begin by positioning an oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheating it to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 6 mini bundt molds.
In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until they're light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then mix in the orange zest.
In a separate bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the creamed butter, in alternating batches, making sure to begin and end with the flour mixture. In a small bowl, toss together the chocolate chunks with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and stir them into the cake batter.
Divide the cake batter among the 6 mini bundt pans, smooth out the tops, and then bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the bundt pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
While the cakes are baking, prepare the orange syrup. In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cakes from the bundt pans, place them on a wire rack set over a baking tray, and brush the orange syrup onto the cakes. Allow them to cool completely.
To make the ganache, set up a double boiler. Melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and instant coffee in the top of the double boiler until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle the chocolate ganache over the tops of the cooled cakes. Enjoy!
Makes 6 mini bundt cakes