Who doesn’t love chocolate cake?! The key to this beauty is a good quality chocolate. That’s why I prefer to use TCHO (pronounced CHO). I just love the quality, flavor and the way it melts, bakes, slathers… you get the idea. It’s made right in Oakland, California and you can order online or find it at your local Whole Foods. It may be more expensive than a Hershey’s bar, but you don’t get any funky ingredients (it’s organic) and, in the end, aren’t you worth the extra deliciousness? I say YES!
Double Chocolate Orange Zest Cake with Ganache Frosting
Yield: 2 9-inch cakes
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces, plus more for preparing the cake pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
7-ounces good quality chocolate, 50- to 60% cocoa solids, chopped finely
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
¾ cup sour cream
Prepare 2 9-inch round cake pans by buttering the bottom and sides of the pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper (cut to size of bottom of pan). Press the parchment to the bottom of the pans so it sticks. Next, butter the parchment paper. Finally, dust the inside of the pans evenly with all-purpose flour, knocking out and discarding any excess flour.
Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add the 1½ sticks of butter pieces and sugars to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Set mixer on medium and cream butter and sugar for 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula halfway through to ensure thorough mixing.
While the butter and sugar are mixing, prepare the chocolate and dry ingredients.
First, place the chopped chocolate in a medium glass or metal bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until just barely a simmer is achieved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate (in the bowl) and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir slowly with a rubber spatula or spoon until fully incorporated (yum). Set aside.
Prepare the dry ingredients by adding the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the 2 cups of all-purpose flour to a medium bowl. Whisk together until fully incorporated.
Head back to the stand mixer. Once the 10 minutes are up, scrape the sides down again. Turn mixer back to medium and add eggs, one at a time, until they are incorporated.
Increase speed to medium-high and let mix for 1 minute until a light and creamy texture is achieved.
Stop mixer and pour in the melted chocolate, Grand Marnier and the orange zest. Mix on medium speed until fully combined. Turn mixer on low.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the mix and mix until just barely incorporated. Next, add half of the sour cream. Mix until just barely incorporated. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until just barely incorporated. Add the rest of the sour cream and mix again until just barely incorporated. Finally, add the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Turn off the mixer and give a good stir with a rubber spatula scraping the bottom of the bowl of the stand mixer to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
Divide the batter in half into the prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula.
Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out clean when poked in the middle of the cake.
Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a parchment-lined cookie rack. Once inverted, remove the bottom layer of parchment paper.
Let cool completely before applying ganache frosting.
Ganache Frosting (makes enough to frost 2 cakes)
6-ounces good quality chocolate beckels, 50- to 60% cocoa solids, chopped finely
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons butter, diced small
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium glass or metal bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until just barely a simmer is achieved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate (in the bowl) and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir slowly with a rubber spatula or spoon until incorporated. Add butter and stir until fully combined. Using an offset spatula frost tops and sides of the cakes.