Friday, December 02, 2005

Orange Blossom Chocolate Loaf Cake

One of the benefits of living near Little Armenia is a wealth of intriguing markets. One favorite is Kalinka on Hillhurst Ave, home of cheap and fresh feta. It's also where we picked up Orange Blossom Water about a year ago. I don't use it often, so whenever I reopen the bottle and get a whiff, I'm transported to a gauzy vision of Arabian nights, full of romance and intrigue (and yes, I know Armenia has no connection to Arabian Nights, but indulge me--they share ingredients).

Tonight, looking at a bowl of oranges on my table and feeling the urge for some chocolate, I decided to modify a recipe for chocolate loaf cake, incorporating both orange zest and the blossom water. The result was a richly satisfying dessert, with a subtle, wintry, orange flavor.

Orange Blossom Chocolate Loaf Cake

1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 c. dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange blossom water
zest from 1 large orange
4 oz. best bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. plus 2 tbsp. boiling water

Preheat oven to 375, and grease a 9x5 loaf pan. I lined the bottom with parchment paper, but I don't think you have to.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, orange blossom water and orange zest; beat well. Next, fold in the melted and slightly cooled chocolate. Sift flour and baking soda together. Add flour mixture and boiling water to batter in alternate spoonfuls until all mixed. The batter should be smooth and fairly liquid. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. The cake will be dense and a bit squishy inside, so a toothpick will not come out completely clean.

If you're patient, let the cake cool completely in the pan on a rack before turning out. I am not patient and turned it out after only an hour of sitting, and it was still warm. This caused a bit of crumbling, but I can assure you, did not affect the taste. Many samples were tested, just to be sure.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's "How to Be a Domestic Goddess"


Syd said...

I followed the link over here from apartment therapy: kitchen. Holy -Cow that looks good!!

Erin S. said...

I have to say, it tasted pretty good too--though the flavor is somewhat intense and after 2 days of eating it for dessert, I'm done with it for now. Today my co-workers benefit from the leftovers :)

Sarah Lou said...

Oh yum. I have to try this!

Rorie said...

This a recipe I've been mulling over for awhile .... guess I'm gonna have to try it! Yum!

LisaSD said...

Erin--Have you ever used rosewater? I've often wondered what that would taste like...

Erin S. said...

I haven't used rosewater before...let me know if you do. I like the orange blossom water a lot, though like I said above, the flavor is very intense--a little goes a long way.

Diane said...

Okay, I'm going to tell you my genius rosewater concoction. It doesn't sound like much, but believe me, you might faint when you eat it. Get some fresh raspberries. Take half of them and crush them with some sugar. Fold the whole ones into the crushed ones. Now get some good heavy cream--hopefully organic and not ultrapasteurized--and whip it with some sugar and rosewater. Put it on the raspberries, and sit down before you taste it. It's like eating the pure essence of flower and fruit.

chocolate strawberries said...

Here's how to make delicious chocolate covered strawberries. First of all ensure that the strawberries you are intending to use are dry, then allow them to be room temperature warm prior to making them. After the strawberries have been covered in chocolate, put them in your refrigerator to cool, but do not store them in the fridge. Consume within 1-2 days.

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