(one 4x8 cake)
Contrary to my usual approach to baking a cake, I increased both the amounts of sugar and butter! My warped sense of logic decided it would be ok to increase those amounts if the actual cake size was smaller than usual, lol. However, l didn't use as much sugar as some bakers who use a ratio of 1 cup of sugar for every cup of flour in a recipe. The resulting pound cake was moist and buttery which I sectioned and brushed with a mixture of orange juice and Grand Marnier before enveloping it with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache.
This delicious German cake presents really well. Its ganache filled layers are vertical instead of horizontal.
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
zest from 1 navel orange, minced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier, or another orange liqueur
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for a minute or two on medium speed. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy; about 8 minutes.
Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and zest in another bowl. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 4 x 8 inch loaf pan and set aside.
Slowly beat the eggs, one at a time into the butter and sugar mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions; about 15 seconds per egg. Beat in the sour cream; another 15 seconds.
Scrape down the sides and add the flour mixture. Beat very slowly until you have a nice thick batter; about 45-60 seconds.
Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for about 50-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove it and allow it to cool completely on a cake rack. My cake slid out nicely, but if it's sticking, run a knife around the edges and try again.
Combine the orange juice and Grand Marnier in a small bowl or glass. Set aside.
Cut the cake in half along it's length from the top, then cut each half in half again, see photo.
Brush one side of each slice of cake with the orange mixture. Try to divide the juice mixture evenly among the pieces and use all of it up. Leave the slices for about an hour to allow the liquid to soak into the cake.
Heat the cream until bubbles begin to form along it's edges. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Continue to stir until smooth. If the chips don't melt completely you might have to heat the mixture a touch. The microwave oven works great for this, just power the oven for 5 seconds or so at a time, stirring the chocolate until it's completely melted.
Starting with one of the outer slices (a side), spread a layer of chocolate (evenly) over the (cut) surface and top with it with a slice of cake. Brush that slice with chocolate, and top it with the third slice. Brush that slice with chocolate and top it with the last (outer) slice, thus reassembling the cake in the process. I didn't illustrate it very well in my photo, but I brought the chocolate to the very edge for each layer.
Brush the remainder of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake. You can see I brushed the chocolate on as it was cooling and getting thicker, leaving ridges across the cake instead of a smooth surface. I could have warmed the ganache by heating it a touch, but I don't like working with runny ganache/glazes where a good portion often ends up on the counter.
Allow the chocolate to set completely before attempting to slice into it. I found it easier to cut into the cake the next day.