This recipe proves why I like older cookbooks. All the current recipes — and mixes (not that I would ever use one of those) — are designed to be light and fluffy. This one is dense and rich. It would work really well as a petit four.
1 medium orange
2 cups cake flour
1¾ cups sugar
½ cup cocoa
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup orange juice
¾ cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
citrus buttercream icing
Before you start mixing everything, peel the orange. Toss the segments in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Don’t use heat to soften the butter. Toss it in your mixer and beat until soft.
Add all the dry ingredients, the juice, and half the puree.
Beat at medium for two minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
Add the rest of the puree, the vanilla and eggs and beat for another two minutes.
You don’t have to line your cake pans, but it sure helps pop things out easier with less breaking. Here’s a great tip from Michael Ruhlman on how to make a parchment paper circle. I did it with wax paper. Whichever you use, butter the pan before you put the paper in.
Pour the batter evenly into two 9-inch cake pans.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes. It should pull away from the edges pretty well, making it very easy to pop out. Let it rest for 10 minutes before inverting it into your hand so you can peel the paper off.
Let the cakes cool completely before assembling and frosting with the citrus buttercream icing. I put the top piece on upside-down so I’d have a nice flat surface on top.
“Dirty-ice” the cake with a thin layer of icing, then put it in the fridge until the icing sets. Then pull it out and, working fast, add a nice thick layer of icing. Return the cake to the fridge until ready to serve.
And that’s it.