Are you ready? I’m about to sound like a huge jerk.
Here’s the thing – I don’t really like going out to restaurants anymore because I feel like I can cook something at home that I will enjoy more. My kitchen is full of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and some darn good cheese. Most of the restaurants I can afford to frequent serve up dishes that taste… impersonal. They’re greasy or brown and they’re just lacking that fresh look of love that I get crafting something myself. One thing I haven’t mastered yet is baked goods. I still adore restaurant baked goods, specifically of the chocolate variety. I recreated my favorite bakery brownies a few weeks ago and I could probably eat those every day for the rest of my life and be happy.
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of going out with some friends on a Friday evening without children(!). Since I’m still nursing my baby I passed on the alcoholic beverages but said yes to chocolate cake. This one was molten on the inside and served with the most perfect ice cream, caramel sauce, and cashews. I didn’t feel bad about downing the whole thing myself since I was saving all the drink calories (girl math). I tried recreating a single serving molten chocolate cake and it was, perhaps, too molten. It just never set up right and basically poured out on the plate when I turned it over.
Another restaurant in town serves a rich chocolate truffle cake that I just adore, and this was the one I chose to recreate here. This cake is dense, almost fudgy. The orange juice is important for the chemical baking of the cake but also adds a great hint of orange flavor to it. The ganache frosting takes it way over the top and is so delicious I now want to eat it on everything or even by itself. That’s ok because you really only need about half the ganache recipe below. I stored the other half in the freezer and have some big plans for it in the coming weeks.
I adapted this recipe from a vegan one but it could easily be made vegan again. Just sub soy yogurt for the vanilla. I haven’t tried it but I imagine you could make a ganache out of coconut cream and vegan butter or just top the cake with a glaze of powdered sugar and orange juice.
Orange Scented Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting
- 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup yogurt, (I used Chobani 0% Vanilla)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- Zest of one orange
- 18 ounces chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, (I used a combination of semisweet and bittersweet, adjust according to how sweet you like your chocolate)
- 1 stick of butter, , cut into chunks
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- To make the cake, spray a bundt cake pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with unsweetened cocoa powder. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and cinnamon. Add the yogurt, vanilla, balsamic vinegar, water, orange juice, and zest. Beat with a mixer on low speed just until well-combined, about 1-2 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a serving platter to cool completely.
- To make the ganache, put the chocolate, butter, and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a boil and immediately pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk slowly until chocolate and butter are melted and the ganache is smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate until the ganache has thickened to a frosting consistency, about 30 minutes. Using about half the ganache, frost the cooled cake. Store leftover ganache in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for future use.