Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year's Cabinet Clearing Dessert

Invited to celebrate with friends and asked to bring dessert, my mind drifted, as it often does, from weighing the options of new diets and work-out schedules to cake. Chocolately, rich, layer cake. Lately when I have made desserts I've fallen into a modern day rut of bundt pans, snack cakes and cobblers -- quick easy desserts. No frosting, no second clean up, no awed on-lookers. Even at the last county fair I noticed there wasn't a single layer cake. It seems the once classic American cake is falling out of favor with home cooks which makes me love it and yearn for it all the more.
A couple months back I had too many oranges and not enough time to eat them and made a thick sweet orange curd thinking it would come in handy as a cake filling. We were supposed to attend a party where we were bringing dessert (it tends to happen) but in the end we missed the party and the curd stayed in the freezer. My opportunity had come.
Thawing the orange curd I decided instead of the simple yellow cake I'd once planned that a flavorful chocolate cake would use up some pantry staples and complement the rich orange curd. Instead of my own recipe which I deemed a bit too fussy I turned to Ina Garten's shockingly simple double chocolate layer cake. The orange curd filled between the layers while a simple frosting featuring melted semisweet chocolate covered the outside. The dark cake combined with the orange flavor was at once holiday and familiar like those little chocolate oranges carefully unwrapped and divided or found in Christmas stockings in years past.

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