Chocolate and oranges?…in a cake? Yep, it’s been happening in my kitchen for several years. It’s my Orange Olive Oil Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache. But, it’s not mine originally. It’s adapted from Penelope Casas beautiful cookbook titled La Cocina de Mama.
Orange Olive Oil Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Before I moved to Northern California, I spent about five months waiting tables at Modesto Tapas Bar and Restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri.
Oh man, this was one of the best restaurant gigs I’ve ever had…and it marked the beginning of my true-love affair with Spanish cuisine.
Chef-owner, Grace Dinsmore, was crazy passionate about the food she created…along with her front-of-the-house manager and partner in crime, Marcia Recks. They were food service perfectionists, and to no fault. They offered a classy and casual, international dining experience that was second to none in its class. In fact, Grace traveled to Spain to study food and stay on top of her game. Lucky her…lucky us!
The result of my time at Modesto…I had direct access to some of the best food I had ever eaten and was able to nerd out on all things Spanish cuisine. It never felt like a job, it was a delicious hobby that spanned several months.
When I later moved to Northern California, I missed my Modesto, and the closest, notable Spanish tapas restaurants were a few hours away in San Francisco. So, I visited my local library to collect Spanish cookbooks. I went a little crazy and experimented several dishes in my kitchen. Most were great, but oddly the one that stuck and will continue as a favorite go-to was an Orange Olive Oil Cake recipe.
Here’s why it stuck:
- We have orange trees in our yard, so I’m always looking for ways to repurpose these little beauties.
- My neighbor and good friend loves this cake…I’m thrilled she loves it like I do
- It’s sooooo flippin easy and ridiculously delicious!
I mean, the hardest part about this cake would be…flying to San Francisco, driving to our house, collecting some of the juiciest, sweetest, oranges on the planet, and juicing and zesting them. I guess after that, you’d have to drive back to San Francisco to get the Ghirardelli chocolate. Ok, just kidding, Ghiradelli is everywhere, but made you think about it, didn’t I?
The original recipe doesn’t call for a chocolate ganache. That is my own adaptation to an already beautiful recipe. And, judge if you must, but I use the microwave method for the ganache (am I’m including that method in the recipe below). It’s so easy and almost foolproof, as long as you don’t boil it…so, don’t do that.
Here is my famous ‘recipe overview’ to give you an idea of how easy this one is:
- Combine cake ingredients to make batter
- Bake batter in a bundt pan
- Make the ganache
- Cool the cake
- Top with the ganache
Omg, the olive oil, orange-scented cake, topped with chocolate, almonds, and orange zest?! It’s heavenly. Now, don’t feel like you need to stick with my recipe on the toppings. Get creative! I’ve used strawberries and orange liqueur before, but next time I make this, I’m gonna top it with my Herb Roasted Citrus for another yummy spin. Caaaaaan’t wait!
Btw, I just googled Chef Grace to see what she’s up to, and found this Sauce Magazine article that tracked her career a few years back. Hey Chef Grace, if you ever stumble across this…know that your work and influence are forever stamped in my memory as I strive for my own food perfection and tasteful bliss. Thanks for taking me on your path!
Cheers to Spanish-inspired cuisine…and always to our health!
As always, if you decide to make my recipe, be sure to snap it and tag me over on the Insta @thekitchengirl #eatnreal #tkgrecipe or #tkgeats.
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