I first made this cake months ago, thinking that it would make a good breakfast. It was good, I guess, but I wasn't that into it. My friends and boyfriend ate it up, but something aboout grapefruit (which I love) in a cake didn't do it for me. Then, smitten kitchen posted another version of the cake, with lemons and blueberries.
The cake itself is good-- light and tender, very moist thanks to the yogurt, but not too rich at all. In her post on the lemon version, she reminded me that you really can put anything you damn well please into the cake. And then she suggested one of my favorite combos ever: orange and chocolate.
I remember looking at a recipe for an orange-chocolate cake once that I wrote off as too much work. But tossing some zest and chips into this cake was, well, a piece of cake.
I could hardly wait for it to cool, (and in fact I didn't-- it was still a bit warm on first bite) I was so excited for orangey-chocolate goodness. Alas. Underwhelmed again. I don't know what it is-- I think the citrus in this cake just makes it feel sort of plasticy/waxy to me somehow. I may try the cake again without flavoring to see if it's the cake I'm reacting to or the citrus, but suffice to say I am sad.
My boyfriend isn't--he polished off the cake.
Orange-Chocolate Cake Adapted from Ina Garten
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (i was out and used almond torani syrup)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold the chips very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup orange juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.