I have been more than a little obsessed with citrus the past few months. It started with lemons – I bought a giant bag of them and couldn’t stop baking. When I wasn’t baking with them, I was burning my favorite lemon zest candle so the house was filled with the aroma anyway. In the past few weeks I’ve moved on to oranges. We’re sort of in that weird in-between phase here in the Northeast with respect to produce. The calendar tells me it’s spring but it’ll be a few more weeks until I can find my favorite spring produce in the stores or at farmer’s markets. I am dying to get my hands on some gorgeous asparagus – it’s one of my favorite veggies, but its season is oh so short! Until then, I’m all about oranges. I went a little crazy flagging recipes so this is the first of two I’m planning to share this week.
I had every intention of making this recipe as written, really I did, but my baking mojo just wasn’t with me. It probably didn’t help that I was diverting at least 50% of my attention to the March Madness games either :) The cake is supposed to be studded with chocolate chunks, but I forgot to add them and didn’t realize until I’d already spooned the batter into the pan. At that point I just said “to heck with it,” figuring I’d get the same flavor profile as long as I added the glaze. I didn’t even notice I’d made a more egregious error until I was typing up the recipe for this post. Two eggs? Hmmm, that can’t be right, I know I only used one. After double checking the recipe, I confirmed I’d only used half the eggs called for – ooops! I guess it’s a testament to the forgiving nature of this cake that it still turned out well for me.
I’ve never been much for the chocolate/orange combination, but these little bundts made me a believer. The cake is packed with orange flavor, thanks to the combination of orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice in the batter as well as an orange sugar syrup spooned over the warm cakes after baking. I thought the chocolate glaze added just the rich touch of richness without overwhelming the orange. One more thing – I used my mini bundt pan, which has 6 1-cup wells, to make this recipe but you could also use one 6-cup bundt pan. Alternatively, double the recipe and bake it in a standard 12-cup bundt.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest (about 2 oranges)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
from Martha Stewart
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons rum (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray the wells of a mini bundt pan with cooking spray with flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk the orange juice, buttermilk and vanilla together in a measuring cup.
Add the sugar and orange zest to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Rub them together with your fingertips until moist and fragrant. Add the butter to the bowl, and cream with the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with the remaining tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the wells of your mini bundt pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the syrup, combine the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn the mini bundts out of the pan onto a wire rack and spoon the syrup over the warm cakes. Let the cakes cool completely.
To make the ganache: Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the heavy cream to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low until simmering. Pour over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Add the butter and rum (if using), and whisk gently until smooth. Pour glaze over cooled cakes.
Makes 6 mini bundts