February 04, 2006

My Very First Recipe

When I was about ten or twelve years old, the first food franchise arrived in Chicago's isolated Hyde Park neighborhood, the one which offered an impressive number of ice cream flavors. Going there was a special treat for my younger brother and I. I don't recall his preferences, but I quickly settled on the licorice ice cream, because it looked like molybdynum sulfide grease, and the mandarin chocolate sherbet, because I absolutely loved the flavor combination. In fact, I loved the combination of orange and chocolate so much I took it upon myself to create a mandarin chocolate cake, which in fact turned out quite well.

1 chocolate cake mix, and additional ingredients as called for on the box
orange juice
1 can mandarin oranges, drained

Prepare the cake batter per the box instructions, substituting orange juice for half the liquid. Fold the mandarin orange segments into the batter. Bake per the box instructions.

Originally, this cake was served as is, but it can be further improved. Prepare it as a layer cake. We do this by baking in a single pan and then slicing in half with a long-bladed knife. We have a special knife on adjustable legs made by Wilton but find it more trouble than it is worth. Spread orange marmalade between the layers, and goop the cake up with chocolate orange buttercream.

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 oz. orange liqueur
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water (this is why glass cookware is so nifty). Stir in the liqueur and set aside. Whisk the eggs and sugar over simmering but not boiling water until thick enough that the whisk marks hold their shape. Remove from heat and fold in the chocolate. Beat in the butter a chunk at a time until very smooth. Chill until stiff enough to spread evenly.

The buttercream recipe is adapted, at the wee wifey's suggestion, from Pamala Asquith's Ultimate Chocolate Cookbook. If I didn't have my own recipe for the Chocolate Carnival, I would have tried the Molé Cake from the back of the book. It is a main course "chocolate cake"; the first ingredient listed is 2 pounds of chicken bones.

Posted by triticale at February 4, 2006 11:14 AM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?