Mandarin Chocolate Cake

This moist layer cake is filled and frosted with ganache and decorated with Modeling Chocolate, which resembles a pliable Tootsie Roll.
If you make this as a 2-layer cake, use only one cup of the ganache to make the filling.

Plus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: MAKES ONE 8-INCH CAKE, 10-12 SERVINGS

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups hot, strong-brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Modeling Chocolate
  • Chocolate Ganache Filling and Glaze

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with shortening. Line the bottoms with wax paper and grease the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, combine the butter, chocolate, hot coffee and orange liqueur; stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter melt. Stir in the sugar until dissolved and the mixture is completely cool. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, whisking between additions. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 1/4 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on a rack. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  3. To unmold the cakes, set the pans, one at a time, over a burner on low heat for 10 seconds. Run a blunt knife around the cakes to loosen, then invert them onto a rack. Remove the paper. Split each cake in half horizontally to make 4 layers.

  4. Place 1 cake layer on a stiff cardboard round on a wire rack and spread it with 1/2 cup of the Chocolate Ganache Filling. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and ganache, ending with a plain cake layer. Pour the ganache glaze over the cake, spreading it around the top and sides with a metal spatula. Let the glaze drip for 2 to 3 minutes. Using 2 spatulas, transfer the cake to a plate. Decorate with the Modeling Chocolate and refrigerate briefly to set the glaze.

Suggested Pairing

Pair with a small glass of Grand Marnier—or a cup of espresso.

Contributed By Published March 1997

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