Saturday, February 19, 2011

Double Orange Cake and Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch or join us as our family of 6 learns to eat on $6/day.

Some things are good. They are very very good.

And some people don't know how to leave well enough alone. 

That's not necessarily a bad thing. But sometimes it can turn into a somewhat less pretty thing.

You see sometimes some people, they make orange cakes with orange frosting, and they might even go a bit berzerk with the orange zest. And then they wonder if their lovely cakes might be a little too in your face orangey and need some kind of a contrast. And so they make a chocolate ganache that's a bit runny because they want to just drizzle it on the cake, you know fancy style, classy. But their drizzles don't look quite right, so they drizzle some more. And then the cake looks a lot like a zebra, so they figure they'll just pour it on and let it drip beautifully down the sides, only, um, the ganache was a little runny for that and maybe, just maybe, the cake a little lopsided for that. Yeah, some people. You just can't trust them. And you certainly shouldn't invite them to your dinner party because they will try out a totally new recipe on all 20 or so guests--these bakers with their inclinations to go crazy with both the orange zest and the chocolate ganache. Of course, the cake will taste great. So all will be well. It reminds me in a slightly alarming way of the Amelia Bedelia books. Hmmm.

So, yes, this cake. It was very very tasty. And there are many many ways you can alter it to suit your different needs and desires. Let me throw out a few ideas. But before I do, let me point out that despite its overage of frosting as it is pictured above, this cake in its original version was not frosted at all, but had merely a dusting of confectioner's sugar. The point being that it can be as simple or as dolled up as you wish--something to serve with your afternoon tea (what you don't have afternoon tea? Fine, something to serve with brunch? What you don't eat brunch? Fine, something for your kid's lunchbox) or something that would be worthy of a birthday party for a fun or sophisticated (or both) friend. Now, those ideas...

1. You can make it as is--a 3-layer cake with orange frosting and chocolate ganache.
2. You can make it into a bundt cake.
3. You can make it into 2 loaf pans of cake.
4. You can make it into dense amazing muffins (I'm guessing 36).
5. You can use only the orange frosting.
6. You can make a cream cheese orange frosting.
7. You can use a vanilla frosting.
8. You can add more orange juice to the orange frosting and make it an orange glaze.
9. You can use chocolate ganache. Or a chocolate ganache with a bit of orange juice and zest mixed it to give it an orangey-ness.
10. You can use powdered sugar to dust it.
11. You can use raspberry preserves--either in the middle of the layers or as a topping for muffins or loaf cakes. You can swirl the raspberry preserves into the orange frosting, which is such a tempting prospect that it makes me sort of drool. (At the dinner party, there were homemade raspberry preserves on the table for the rolls. Some people put them on their cake and deemed it a very very good thing.)
12. Heck, you could probably swirl the raspberry preserves into the actual batter.
13. You can use orange frosting and chocolate ganache and garnish with real raspberries.
14. You can substitute the canola oil for olive oil, which was its original Portuguese conception.
15. You could top it with whipped cream.

So, seriously, go nuts.

I actually want to try it with some very fine whole wheat and reduce the sugar and eat it for breakfast.

Orange Cake with Orange Frosting and Chocolate Ganache Glaze
Adapted from David Leite The New Portuguese Table
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Cost: $2.35 for cake, $6.00 with both frostings
(oranges: 1.00 in season, flour: .28, eggs: .50, sugar: .32, oil: .25)

4 large navel oranges
3 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 tsp salt
5 large eggs
3 C sugar
1 1/2 C canola oil

Grease 3 layer pans, line with wax paper and grease paper.

Grate zest of 3 oranges and set aside. Juice oranges; you'll need 1 1/2 C or juice.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat eggs for about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until thick and light yellow (3-5 minutes).

Add part of flour mixture, then half oil, then flour mixture, then oil, then last of flour. Don't overmix.

Add orange juice and zest and mix till combined.

Divide batter between pans and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Orange Frosting
Cost: $2.80
(sugar: 1.25, butter: .75, orange: .20, cream: .60)

2 lb powdered sugar
3/4 C butter, softened
the zest from 1 orange
2 Tbsp juice from an orange
1/2-3/4 C whipping cream

Combine sugar and butter. Add zest and juice and beat together. Add whipping cream, starting with 1/2 C and beat until somewhat light/fluffy and lovely. If it's too stiff, add more cream.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze
Cost: $.80
(chocolate: .50, whipping cream: .30)

1/3 C chocolate chips
2/3 C whipping cream

Combine in micrwave and nuke at 20 seconds intervals, stirring at each break until almost smooth. Take out of microwave and continue stirring until smooth. Let cool before you pour onto cake, but don't let it get so cool that it sets up.

And check out where I've posted this cake and where there are about a million other AMAZING looking treats. I just might have to add this site full of sweet treats to my sidebar because, well, yum. Also linked this (as well as Best Ever Chocolate Cake and Carrot Cake with Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting) to Cupcake Apothecary.


  1. Oh wow, your pics are worth a thousand words. I can only imagine how absolutely delicious that cake was. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog until tomorrow night and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up.

  2. Hi Lisa. I'd love to link it to your sweet treat party. Thanks.

  3. This cake looks amazing. Thanks for all the great ideas on how to switch things up. I love all the frosting you have on it!

  4. Jenn--We definitely like our frosting around here, though I swear the cake could stand perfectly well without it (if, you know, you're grown ups and all).



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