Sensational chocolate cake, very moist and fragrant, thanks to generous amount of citrus included in the recipe by using both the juice as well as the rind of two large oranges. The citrus flavor really hit you at a first bite, not too over powering, but you can note it immediately. And by the way, it is surprisingly easy to make too.
Citrusy Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake
recipe adapted from Epicurious
For the cake:
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup lightly toasted hazelnut - grind to powder in a coffee grinder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 oz 70% dark chocolate (I used Valrhona Guanaja 70%)
1 cup sugar
2 oz unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
Zest of 2 large oranges
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For grand marnier syrup:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tbs grand marnier
1½ cups heavy whipping cream
12 oz 70% dark chocolate (Valhrona guanaja chocolate 70%)
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350℉.
Butter three 8 by 1½ -inch cake pans, line the bottom pans with parchment paper, brush the papers with butter, then dust with flour. Tap off excess flour - set aside.
Sift together cake flour, ground hazelnut, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, add orange juice. Bring the juice to a boil, remove from the heat. Add 3 oz 70% dark chocolate, leave for 30 seconds then, mix until smooth. Set aside at room temperature to cool slightly.
Using electric mixer with medium high speed, beat sugar, butter, and orange zest until pale and light. Add egg one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Change the speed to the lowest setting, stir in sour cream, vanilla, and melted chocolate. Add sifted flour mixture, beat for 30 seconds just enough to blend them together.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake in the middle rack for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool cake in pans on rack.
Meanwhile make the syrup. Add sugar and water in a small bowl and bring it to a gentle boil to disolved the sugar. Remove from the heat, stir in grand marnier.
To make ganache:
Place chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy whipping cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour it into chocolate. Leve for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth. Let cool to spread consistency.
To assemble the cake:
Invert one cake into a cake cardboard, place it in a platter and peel off the parchment paper. Brush the cake with syrup. Spread about 1/2 cup of ganache on top. Place another layer of cake on top the ganache, brush with syrup, spread another 1/2 cup (more or less) ganache, top with the last cake, brush with syrup, and spread the remaining ganache on top and side of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until well chilled, about 2 hours before cutting.