One of my dreams is to travel to Chinon, France and stay at the Hotel Diderot, where the proprietor makes homemade marmalade. It’s owner is one of my favorite food bloggers, Jamie Schler, who is an amazing baker, cook and the writer I want to be. Basically, she has crafted my ideal life. I first “met” her online while we were baking from each other’s websites. Her recipes always work, they are always delicious and they always have a story that make eating them all the more enjoyable. This cake is from her new cookbook, Orange Appeal and is no different. It’s outrageously chocolatey with a hint of orange, which just gives it a depth and balance of flavor. It also comes with a delightful story. This recipe was passed to Jamie by her father, who worked at NASA. Let me unpack that last sentence for you. Her dad bakes cakes, which is the sweetest, coolest thing for a dad to do and pretty unusual for a man of his generation. My father, who has many, many talents, has never baked a cake in all of my days. I’m not sure he’d even make it through a box of Duncan Hines? And, her dad worked as an engineer at NASA, how cool is that? It pretty much makes him a rock star in my mind. His original recipe, which you can find on Jamie’s blog, was equally chocolatey, but used coffee to add the essential acidity to the recipe. Jamie has swapped the coffee with orange zest and juice. Both versions are brilliant!
Special Chocolate Orange Cake from Orange Appeal by Jamie Schler
To create the orange scented version of Jamie’s cake from her book, she makes these few changes to her dad’s recipe:
Instead of coffee she uses 1 cup of orange juice, slightly warmed.
1 orange, zested
1 teaspoon orange extract, which she teaches how to make in the book.
Chocolate Orange Buttercream Frosting (which is awesome!)
She substitutes hot coffee with hot orange juice, otherwise it is the same
I suggest you serve this cake at room temperature.
When the buttercream warms up it becomes gooey and messy and outrageously yummy!