I have never liked oranges. The fruit, the juice, even the smell offends me sometimes. It can be lovely on ocasion but mostly I think it’s too sharp. The only thing that I like about oranges is their colour. I’m not too shy to wear bright colours. I have an orange top that I wear often and it makes me happy and daring when I do.
Because of my dislike for oranges, I have never really given the orange-chocolate combo a try. I love chocolate but pair it with orange and I won’t touch it. I talk big about being adventurous and trying everything at least once but give me something that I’ve already pre-determined I don’t like and I won’t do it.
However, I changed my stance on orange juice quite recently. In my host Alex’s apartment in Barcelona, I found myself with three beverage options for breakfast – water, milk, and orange juice. (I could’ve made coffee or tea or hot chocolate but I was too lazy.) Water at breakfast is a bit sad, so I skipped that. Milk…nah. I’d been having lactose issues in Paris just days before and I didn’t want to take any chances. Ergo, I was left with orange juice. I reluctantly poured myself a glass, took a sip, and to my surprise, I didn’t hate it. In fact, I grew to like it. A lot. I proceeded to have it at every meal thereafter.
When I got back to Singapore, I thought, ‘Hmm, let’s give this orange juice thing another go.’ So I’ve been doing that, on and off. But sometimes after a while I get a little sick of it and I don’t want to drink it anymore. Which is what happened this past week. I think I drank it for two mornings and I’d had enough. I’m not one to throw away perfectly good food/drinks/anything edible so I googled for recipes that called for orange juice. Let’s be honest. I was searching for cake recipes, of course, not real food. I like cooking, but I like baking just a tad bit more. Okay, a tad lot more.
And google, good ol’ google, led me to a recipe by Ina Garten called…surprise, surprise…Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake. And I was instantly obsessed, and it was all I could think about, and I was surprised because I don’t like oranges so why why why, oh, does it really matter? No, it doesn’t! ………I made them today. Wow. That was a super long backstory of how I came to make this cake. Ha!
I also bought a new zester and I was really excited to zest the heck out of some unsuspecting oranges which I still won’t eat but will gladly take their rind, thank you.
I made some changes. Like, of course I did. You’d be hard pressed to find a recipe that I followed to a tee. Because I’m just a rebel like that. Or perhaps because I already had chocolate chips and I didn’t want to spend money on chocolate chunks, because they are more expensive, first of all, and second of all, chocolate chips and chocolate chunks are essentially the same thing, just shaped differently.
And, I didn’t have heavy cream for the ganache. And I didn’t want to have heavy cream, delicious as it is. I’ve been eating like a maniac these last few weeks and I simply could not afford heavy cream settling into these bâtards I call my thighs. So I replaced it with…wait for it…cashew cream! Which is basically cashews ground up with less water than you would use to make cashew milk. It’s a vegan thing. It’s also a “I don’t want my thighs to rub any further” thing.
Get into it!