Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

It’s funny how you grow up to be nothing  like the person you once thought you would be. And that’s a good thing. It rules out the comfort and predictability of the every day routine and sets a path full of surprises, amazement and awe as you grow and discover yourself  and the world around you. Only when you reach a certain level of maturity can you appreciate the ever changing beauty of life.Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

I turned 30 two weeks ago. It should be a big deal, or at least most people seem to think so. Well, it wasn’t. Apparently, I should be feeling different. Well, I’m not. It was a birthday like any other, a day spent with my family and closest friends, people who have always stood beside me, regardless of the number on top of the cake. Being 30 is not unpleasant at all. And no, I’m not just saying that to make you or myself feel better. Would I ever lie to you?

Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

There was something special about my birthday, tough. It was the cake. And it truly deserves to be called The Cake. Again, I’m not saying that just because I made it. Seriously.

I have been working on this recipe for some time now and I truly feel I hit all the right spots with this particular cake. I wouldn’t change a thing. For me this cake represents the perfect balance of not only flavors (I mean, chocolate and orange are epic together), but also of texture. It’s a rich and robust cake, but it’s also delicate and soothing. The flavor of the cake builds up and progresses in your mouth as different components hit your palate and that one bite has the power to take you places you’ve never even imagined.

Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

I have been searching long and hard for a really good and moist chocolatey cake and I have finally found it. That Martha Stewart sure knows what she’s doing because this chocolate cake recipe is everything you could ever wish for in a chocolate cake. It’s deep and dark, fudgy, moist, but not too sweet.Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

The cakes are fairly simple to make, and really easy to work with. I found that they’re even better if you make them a day ahead. Once the cakes are cooled to room temperature, wrap them tightly in a plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. It’s almost like they mature in the cold and moist environment and become even more luscious. Also, it’s much easier to trim the cakes and level them out when they are cold and firm. The cakes will grow substantially, especially in the middle, so trimming the tops is a step you shouldn’t skip.

Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

Dark chocolate ganache adds to the depth of the cake. It’s luxurious and lavish, but not too rich. The subtle tanginess of orange zest mellows it down a bit and leads the way to that final hit of brightness and freshness of the orange icing. The cute pastel ruffles accentuate the delicate and feminine side of the cake. Also, I’m crazy about ruffles. This was my second attempt at making a ruffled cake and I’m not entirely unhappy about how it turned out. To make the ruffles you will need a medium sized petal tip, such as #104 Wilton tip, and a steady hand. Also, it might be a good idea to take a look at some awesome tutorials out there. I found this video tutorial very helpful.Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

This cake, and even it’s earlier test versions, have been labeled as “the best cake ever” by many who have tried it. I tend to agree. Perhaps I am a bit biased, but I know a good cake when I see (and taste) one. This cake is gonna knock your socks off.

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Chocolate Orange Ruffle Cake

Makes one 24cm cake
Prep time: + chilling time
Cook time:
Total time:
Difficulty: Intermediate

Category: Cakes
Chocolate and orange are epic together, and this cake transports the combination to a whole new level. What stands out in this recipe is the moist chocolate cake. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe and it’s the best I’ve tried so far. I recommend that you bake the cake layers the night before. Once the cakes are cooled to room temperature, wrap them tightly in a plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. It’s much easier to trim the cakes and level them out when they are cold and firm. The cakes will grow substantially, especially in the middle, so trimming the tops is a step you shouldn’t skip. To decorate the cake with ruffles, you will need a medium sized petal tip (such as #104 Wilton tip) and a steady hand. There is a great video tutorial over at My Sweet & Saucy. Alternately, you could just ice the cake and decorate it with some chocolate shavings.
For the Moist chocolate cake:
Ingredients
175g cocoa powder
375g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
670g sugar
180ml vegetable oil
360ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
360ml hot water
Directions
Preheat oven to 170°C. Butter the bottom and sides of two round 24cm cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter the paper. Dust the pans with cocoa and tap out extra.
Sift cocoa and flour into a large bowl. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar and stir to incorporate. Beat in oil, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and hot water one at a time, using a mixer set at low. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Pour the batter into pans and bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Rotate the pans half way through the baking time. Do not overbake the cakes or else they get crumbly. If you don't have two identical cake pans, bake first half of the batter and invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Clean the cake pan, prepare it the same way as earlier and bake the other half of cake batter. Cool the cakes completely before trimming the tops (the cakes will rise in the middle and you'll have to level them). It's best to do that with a serrated knife. The results are even better if you wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. It's much easier to trim the cakes when they're cold and firm.
To moisten the cake:
Ingredients
1/2 orange, juice and zest
1tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
Directions
Combine orange juice, orange zest and sugar in a small pot. Cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and some of the juice has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in the rum. Let it cool a bit before moistening the cake layers.
For the Chocolate orange ganache filling:
Ingredients
300ml heavy cream
300g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
Directions
In a small saucepan bring cream just to a boil. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, butter, orange zest and Grand Marnier. Let ganache stand for 3 minutes and whisk until chocolate is melted and the ganache smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30-40 minutes, just until the ganache reaches a silky spreadable consistency.
Place one cake cut side up on a cake stand and moisten it. Spread the chocolate filling evenly over the cake. Moisten the cut side of the second cake and place it cut side down onto the filling. Gently press with the palms of your hands and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before frosting the cake.
For the Orange icing:
Ingredients
500ml milk
80g cornflour
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
1 1/2 orange juice and zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
200g softened butter
Directions
In a small bowl combine cornstarch with 3-4 tablespoons of milk and stir until you get a thick but smooth mixture. Set aside. Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan together with vanilla seeds and vanilla pod. Heat until it starts to boil, remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let it seep for 10 minutes. Strain the milk through a sieve to discard the vanilla and return to saucepan. Add sugar and vanilla sugar and cook until it reaches boiling point. Now slowly add the cornstarch mixture into milk, stirring constantly. Cook for a few minutes or until it thickens (it should resemble a custard). Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool completely.
Add orange zest, orange juice and Grand Marnier to the cold custard and beat with a mixer until incorporated. In a separate bowl beat the softened butter until creamy. Combine it with the custard and beat it all together until smooth and creamy. Frost the bottom and sides of the cake or decorate it with ruffles.
For the ruffles, you first need to crumb coat your cake and then pipe ruffles using a medium sided petal tip (such as #104 Wilton tip).

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