Orange- Chocolate Coffee Cake


This Macrina Bakery & Café coffee cake was featured on the Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets series, which showcases eateries across the United States that are creating “the most unique and exciting desserts today.” This moist, buttery cake is studded with roasted almonds, semisweet chocolate chips, and fresh orange zest. The Macrina Bakery has gotten calls from people all across the country wanting this recipe. Here it is for you.

NOTE: For convenience, this version makes two standard-size loaf cakes; you can use a 10-inch Bundt pan for a fancier presentation. The baking time will be close to 45 min.- 1 hour

Makes two 4½-by-8-inch loaf cakes

1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of 2 medium oranges (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream, divided
¾ cup raw almonds (skins on), toasted and chopped, divided
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter cut into thirds, at room temperature

½ cup sugar
¹/³ cup fresh orange juice

¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325˚F. Grease two 4½-by-8-inch loaf pans with canola oil and set aside.

2. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix in the orange zest with your fingers until evenly distributed. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the orange juice, vanilla, eggs, and 1⁄4 cup of the sour cream in a separate medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients, ½ cup of the almonds, and the chocolate chips on low speed. Add the butter pieces a few at a time, beating on low speed until smooth and stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the remaining 3⁄4 cup sour cream. Mix for about 1 minute on low speed, until the mixture becomes a paste, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated. Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, mixing for 20 seconds each time. Scrape down the bowl after each addition to help prevent overmixing, which can toughen the cake.

5. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans, filling them about two-thirds full, and smooth the tops with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn them out onto a plate. Poke about 20 holes in the top of each of the loaves with the skewer.

6. To make the orange syrup, heat the sugar and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes a clear syrup. Brush the hot syrup on the top of loaves. Do this several times, using all the syrup. Cool the cakes for 30 minutes while you make the chocolate glaze.

7. To make the chocolate glaze, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a froth just before it boils, monitoring it carefully so it doesn’t boil over. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Using a whisk, combine the cream and chocolate; they will melt into a smooth glaze. Dip a spoon into the glaze and streak the top of each cake in a tight zigzag pattern. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the remaining 1⁄4 cup almonds down the center of each loaf.