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Monday, January 9, 2012

Chocoholics Anonymous

The following recipe is just wrong.
 Wrong, wrong, wrong.
 But if chocolate is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

I had mentioned a couple of nights before while we were making bread pudding for dessert that chocolate and orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations.
Naturally, Savannah started plotting just that for a birthday treat.
Now cake is one thing.
THIS is something else.
It's moist to the point of being nearly a brownie; 
add cocoa icing and candied orange peel, and you have a dessert that 
made me slide off of my chair and puddle on the floor.
Gather your ingredients:

     The Cake
3 cups of all purpose flour (or wholewheat flour) 
6 tablespoons of sifted good quality cocoa 
2 teaspoon baking soda 
2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt (optional) 
10 tablespoons vegetable oil  
2 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup cold water 

The Icing
I stick of butter (NOT margarine), softened to a gooshie consistency
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbs cocoa powder

The Candied Orange Peel 
4 thick-skinned navel oranges
4 1/2 cups sugar plus extra for rolling
1 1/2 cups water
The cake is easy and basic. Once you get used to scratch, you start to wonder why you ever opened boxes with alien ingredients in the first place. I like to mix equal parts of white and whole wheat flour in a container for baking to add a dash of food value. 
Put your flour into mixing bowl, add cocoa, baking soda, sugar and salt and mix well.
Make three deep holes in the dry mixture. Into one, pour the oil, into the next, pour the vinegar, and into the next, pour the vanilla.
Pour the water into the bowl, over all of this --- making a great big mess.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until there aren't any more lumps and pour into two greased 9 inch baking pans, two inches deep. The layers will be shallow
Bake at 350°F. for about half an hour, test with a fork.

Set this aside to cool and make that icing!
This is extremely complicated, so pay attention:
Put the ingredients in a bowl and cream with a mixer. Adjust the consistency with a little extra powdered sugar if it's too thin. Add more cocoa if you're hard core.
Uh huh. That's it.

Now, the orange peel stuff...
Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe, or get your brother to eat them. Cut the peel into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 1 or 2 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. (Test kitchen liked the texture of a 3 time blanch best, it also mellowed the bitterness. But it is a matter of preference.) Remove the orange peels from the pan.

Whisk the sugar with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (If you took the sugar's temperature with a candy thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees F.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around.
Drain the peels (save the syrup for iced tea), roll the peels in sugar and dry on a rack, for 4 to 5 hours. Return to the sugar to store. 

 Try not to just stand there and eat the peels.
By the way, these are a fantastic treat, a great gift, and you can also use lemons, limes, and grapefruit for a shot of color and a variety of tastes. We have vegan friends and are always on the lookout for goodies to take to their house that we can't screw up.
 Assemble and frost the cake. You can chop some of the peel and sprinkle it between the layers.

Simply amazing. This was easy to do, the flavors blended beautifully, there was a fresh sparkle to the whole delicious concoction, and...

Just get me a fork and some soy milk. And my elastic waist jeggings.

1 comment:

La Vie Quotidienne said...

This sounds fabulous! What a wonderful treat...lucky you.