Recipe: Chocolate Crowned Double Orange Spice Cake
Contributor Lisa Fielding is a private chef and boutique caterer based in Manhattan who weekends in Litchfield County whenever possible. Many of her Manhattan clients are also Litchfield County weekenders, so work brings her to Northwest Connecticut as well. A Los Angeles transplant, Fielding was a former Hollywood film executive who segued into screenwriting several years ago, which enabled her to pursue her passion for food and entertaining. Lisa’s culinary skill set draws from a broad spectrum of dishes and ingredients.
I don’t get that excited about cake. I love the concept and I love the look of cake but I often find (and this goes for cupcakes, too), that cakes are dry, flavor challenged and mostly a vehicle for a delicious butter cream cheese frosting…when you’re lucky enough to get real butter cream cheese frosting. My bias was forever changed when I came up with this cake recipe last weekend and departed from my go-to butter cream cheese frosting when I realized my client didn’t have powdered sugar on hand. So I did what any good chef does: recalibrated and created a frosting with what ingredients I did have. The result was the most delicious cake I have ever made. It is so flavorful and moist, and the frosting could be mistaken for fudge — in a word, divine! This recipe could also double for cupcakes and should be baked in the mini panettone molds — they are certainly deserving of the prettier presentation. If chocolate frosting isn’t your thing, a vanilla butter cream cheese frosting would be fabulous, too.
Chocolate Crowned Double Orange Spice Cake
Butter and flour a 10-inch wide, 3-inch deep cake pan.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. orange extract
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
½ cup buttermilk
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl set aside. Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Add zest and orange extract. Mix. Beat in dry ingredients in three additions alternating with buttermilk, scraping down sides.
Turn batter into prepared cake pan and bake until center is firm or an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes depending on how hot your oven cooks. Cool cake in pan and invert onto serving plate. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: Yields 2 Cups
1 cup sugar
6 Tbls. butter
½ cup whole milk
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Place all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and whisk constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer for three minutes. Frost cake, working quickly as frosting will be thick and creamy but harden as it cools.
Will set in a few minutes. Decorate with flowers or sprinkles. Enjoy!