Hey! Thanks for all the tee love, you guys. There are still a few left in le shop, if you'd like one!
So, I needed a cake to grace my newly acquired and long-sought-after cake stand, so I made this incredible cake this weekend, and I have just been itching to share it.
Because it's crazy-good.
And because I'm proud of it, as I (kind of) invented it. I say kind of, because I used a basic Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe from the Magnolia cookbook as the foundation. I love, LOVE chocolate-and-orange combinations. I know that lots of folks are with me on this. However, I do not love very dark chocolate (I know, I'm still waiting for my palette to grow up) with my orange-flavored confection. And I have a really hard time finding milk-chocolate + orange combinations.
Thus, I bring you...
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 C self-rising flour
1 2/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C milk
1/2 c Orange Juice
Grated zest from two oranges
1 Tablespoon orange extract
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease and lightly flour 2 9" round cake pans (I like to use the inside of the wrappers from the softened butter to grease with, after I dump the sticks into the mixing bowl). Cream the butter with your mixer on medium. Add the sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and then slowly add the flour, alternating with the milk and juice. Mix well after every addition. Blend in the orange zest, and mix a bit more.
Divide the mixture between the two pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes (test with a small, sharp knife or a cake tester into the center, and, as per usual, make sure it comes out clean...otherwise, back in the oven for a few more minutes). Let the cakes cool in their pans for about 10 minutes, and then remove to racks. Let cool completely at room temperature (I let mine cool overnight) before frosting.
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
4 squares (8 oz) unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
4-5 C confectioner's sugar
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
Carefully melt the butter (you can cube it for easier melting) and squares of chocolate on low, stirring occasionally and watching carefully to make sure the chocolate doesn't scald. When all of the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
Beat the whipping cream with your mixer on high for 2 minutes, and then add a cup of your sugar. Continue to beat, and the mixture should get lighter and fluffier. When cooled, slowly add your butter/chocolate mixture and beat on low until smooth. Cup by cup, add the remaining confectioner's sugar, until the mixture is light, thick, and a good spreading consistency. When I finished with this icing, it was verging on gross how obsessed I was with it. I was licking the mixer's beaters...the spatula...the bowl...
Place your cake on the serving plate (or cake stand) and push some small-ish pieces of tin foil or wax paper under the bottom of the cake, all around the perimeter. This will catch your icing mishaps and neaten things up! Using a knife and spoon, ice between the layers and the top and sides of the cake, adding decorative icing "swoops" to the surface with your knife if the spirit moves.
I can tell you that the spirit almost always moves me to do so. Remove scraggly "icing catcher" pieces of tin foil or wax paper from your serving apparatus and there you have it.
Cut and serve to appreciative and deserving peeps, including you!