Beautiful chocolate and orange above the fold? Do I have your attention? Good.
There is a well-established precedent here on this blog that I believe that chocolate + orange = holidays. Therefore, Christmas dinner this year required for me to get up early to make a decadent chocolate and orange treat for everyone to enjoy after the long day’s festivities.
Cue Joy the Baker‘s Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake. (By the by, the photos here were taken by multiple people, none of which were me, on various phones and cameras whilst I flitted about the kitchen wearing an owl apron and a super serious face.)
This cake, by itself, is pretty damn delicious, but this was Christmas, dammit. Game had to be stepped up. First addition? I poked holes all over the beautiful finished and cooled cake and brushed fresh squeezed orange juice (from the lonely little orange that you zest and then ignore to make the cake) all over the cake, letting it soak in.
See? Super serious business here.
If you’ve got tiny bits of orange pulp all over the outside of your cake, you’re doing everything right. In life and in baking.
Second addition? Get out your favorite chocolate ganache recipe. Don’t have one? Betty does, and it’s pretty great.
Pour it all over that cooled orange-drenched cake (with aluminum foil cake stand protectors, of course), and then admire it for a second.
Then spread things out a bit with a spatula. Did you start to smile? Stop that. Baking is a serious business.
Now, we haven’t even eaten dinner yet, so we can’t dig into this cake. Besides, ganache (which WordPress doesn’t believe is a real word, by the way) needs to set, which is a cruel, but necessary, step. What do we do while we’re in that weird between-time when we can’t eat dinner or dessert yet?
Well, in my family, you make more dessert, apparently.
Super basic roll-out sugar cookies, again from Lady Betty. Cookie cutters from my awesome friends Brittany and Michele made their inaugural sugar cookie appearance.
You may think that bunnies don’t belong on a Christmas cookie plate. You are wrong.
I don’t know why I wanted to include this one, but I really like this picture somehow. I feel as though those cookies are cowering in fear from my threatening cookie-eating presence. They are right to fear.
After dinner, all kinds of royal icing happened.
Again, no smiling allowed. Decorating sugar cookies with icing, candies, and sprinkles requires extreme concentration from all involved.
We made approximately 800,000 cookies. Here are a few highlights.
The kitchen counter got a little crowded.
After all that hard work decorating, it was time for cake!
It was worth the wait.
I feel like this would be even better in mini-Bundt size, where you can get an even more favorable ganache-to-cake ratio. It’s all about the balance between the floral, tangy orange and the creamy semisweet chocolate. And then overloading it with a whole bunch more chocolate.
Year-end roundup is not over yet! Remember when I said something about bunnies being involved? Those cookie cutters didn’t count. We’ve got way more bunny goodness coming up. I am still excited about it, and it’s already over. That’s saying something.