16-14: Orange-Almond Cake

No, this isn’t a repeat of 16-47: Orange-Almond Pie–at least, not exactly. 16-14: Orange-Almond Cake uses almond paste while the pie version used almond meal (flour). This one also includes dark chocolate, which ALWAYS goes well with almond and orange flavors. ?

In the interest of not eating the whole cake at once (which is possible with something like this), I’m going to bake 12 individual cakes instead with a mini-Bundt pan that I have. That way, I can make them all, wrap and freeze them so that we can pull out a portioned piece for dessert without the temptation of eating the whole thing.

These cakes turned out much lighter and less dense than their pie counterparts, but that may be due to the way I baked them individually as well.

Ingredients. I always end up eating the extra almond paste–marzipan has really grown on me since I was a kid. I was always fascinated by these types of small fruit candies sold by a beloved roadside stop that we passed on trips to and from weekends in Palm Springs, but never really dug the taste of them. Now, 20-25 years later I bet those same candies would taste delicious to me. Funny how time changes things. ⏳

Melting a ton of butter in my trusty butter melter–I just went and added a new one to my Amazon wishlist after looking at this picture because while this one is old and cool, it’s also starting to wear out on the edges, and it’s probably just time to replace it.

Adding the dry into the wet.

Lots of zest from these big oranges.

Mixed the orange zest into the batter and poured it out into the mini-cake cups. A muffin tin would work well too, they just wouldn’t be quite as fancy. Here’s a similar pan if you’re interested in fancy.

I suppose i should have been more even with my batter distribution–some are short, while others are too tall. This is halfway through–I like to rotate my pans in the middle of baking because my oven is uneven and temperamental, and rotation helps compensate for that a bit.

The lemon juicer turned out to be too small for this giant orange.

Good thing I have this cheap plastic juicer for just this task. Between the zesting and the juicing, that orange was well used.

After baking, I left the cakes in the cups and poured the orange juice on each one, letting it soak down into each cake for about an hour or so while they cooled. I popped them out and baked them again on a parchment-lined sheet pan for a few minutes as right-side up cakes–they needed to dry out a bit before freezing them.

I evened out the ones that were a bit too tall by slicing off the bottoms just enough to keep them stable and flat. The extra bottoms made yummy snacks just on their own.

I set the dry, even cakes up on a baking rack on top of that same (now cooled) parchment-lined sheet pan from earlier. This will be my set-up for covering them with chocolate and the other toppings.

Melted the chocolate in a rigged-up double boiler (two nested saucepans with about 1-2″ of water in the bottom of the bigger pan), added some coffee to boost the chocolate flavor and stretch/thin out the melted chocolate.

Covered each cake in a generous amount of melted dark chocolate. The baking rack helps them drain without pooling, and the parchment underneath makes for easier clean-up afterward.

Garnished each cake with the toasted, sliced almonds and some saved zested orange peel from earlier. The rack/parchment/pan works well for this, too. I put the pan into my fridge just like this (didn’t move a thing) and let them cool/firm up overnight.

The next morning, I wrapped them all individually in plastic wrap (now cold and solid enough to resist sticking to the wrap), put those in a plastic zip bag, and tossed them in the freezer. Individually portioned dessert cakes!

I did save two from the plastic wrap/freezer, and here they are. We just finished the last of that bag (as I write this now, a week or two after I initially made them), and the last two cakes were just about as good as those first two pictured above. I may try this method with future Simply Delicious cake/dessert recipes…I think I’m onto something here.

Grade: A