Russ, my husband, has a thing for the combo of chocolate and orange. I have to admit that it’s a favorite of mine also. But then again, I’m an equal opportunity fruit/chocolate fan. Blend it with raspberry, cherry, apricots, whatever and I’ll be there banging on your door, plate in hand.
Every year at Christmas time, I get Russ one of those chocolate oranges. You know the kind; wrapped in foil, you’re supposed to strike it against a hard surface to separate the segments, etc, etc. I SAY I get it for Russ and it HAS become a tradition. But the truth is that while he loves the flavor combo, he isn’t much on candy. He prefers it in that flavor of Milano cookie (me too!) So what happens to his chocolate orange over time? Yep; you guessed it. *sheepish look* Well, I can’t just let it go to waste, now can I?! It’s rather like how every year when my brother, sister and I were kids, we would get our mom a big heart shaped box of Fanny May chocolates for Valentines Day, using her money of course. Of course, by the time our poor mother, suffering from some late night chocolate craving, got to the box that she stored in the fridge, she would usually find two or three pieces of the worst flavors left in there, surrounded by a plethora of wrappers. And those three would usually have their bottoms bitten off by yours truly.
So, in honor of my husbands favorite flavor (honest; I haven’t eaten any yet *coughcough*), I made a loaf cake that mingles the two, but with the added bonus (totally thought of myself and my favorite coffee drink here) of making the chocolate part mocha flavored. I tried marbling it for looks, but for some odd reason, I’ve never had a lot of luck with marbling (bad butter knife skills? 😛 ) so it looks more layers, but I rather like it that way.
This isn’t in your face with either flavor; the chocolaty mocha part has a subtle flavor with a touch of orange itself from the orange oil I added and the orange part is also subtle. If you want more in your face from the flavors, add about an extra 1/2 teaspoon of orange oil to the orange part and you could probably get away with adding about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips and a touch more coffee powder to the chocolate part. This is a nice simple, old fashioned loaf cake, perfect for an after school snack for the kiddos if they like a more sophisticated flavor, perfect with your morning cup of coffee or for a light dessert.
You know the drill… 🙂
By the way, I really adore all of you! <3
Chocolaty Orange Mocha Snack Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream (can sub a nice thick Greek yogurt if it makes you happy)
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (or the amount that you can get from one medium orange)
- 3/4 teaspoon orange oil, divided (you can sub orange extract, but the oil is infinitely better)
- 2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder ( baked goods such as this are a good reason to keep a small jar of instant coffee around- it lasts forever)
- Glaze and garnish-
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- orange zest or strips
- chocolate shavings (I used a bitter sweet bar with almonds because it was all I had, but I actually liked the way the shaved almonds added a bit of texture and crunch to the top)
- Preheat oven to 350 and either grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan or spray well with one of the flour/oil combo baking sprays. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. After the last egg is added, continue beating at medium speed for a minute or two.
- Add in the flour mixture and just barely mix it in. Add in the sour cream. This is a thick batter, so no, you didn’t do anything wrong.
- Move half of the batter to another medium bowl. To that half, add in 1/2 teaspoon of the orange oil and the orange zest. Mix just until combined.
- To the remaining batter, add the melted chocolate, the last 1/4 teaspoon of orange oil and the coffee powder. Mix just until combined.
- Spoon half of the orange batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spoon half of the chocolate batter on top of that. Repeat those layers once. Use a butter knife to dig down in there and swirl the batter together, then smooth the top. Hopefully, your mad swirling skills are better than mine 😀 Smooth the top of the batter.
- Bake at 350 until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cover the top loosely with foil if it starts to get too brown at the edges before it is fully baked.
- Let cool in the pan set on a rack set over a rimmed baking pan for about ten minutes, then carefully invert it out onto your hand, then back onto the rack to finish cooling.
- During the ten minutes it is in the pan, make your glaze which is easy peasy. Just combine the 1/3 cup orange juice and 2 tablespoons sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for about a minute; just long enough to dissolve the sugar.
- Brush the glaze over the hot cake.
- When the cake is completely cool, garnish with shaved chocolate and orange zest.
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