Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Citrus & Chocolate

As the citrus season wanes, leaving in it’s wake oodles of jars of preserved loveliness, my mind shifts to what to do with them all…gifts for friends, spoon full’s on toast, accompaniments to meat dishes, you all know the drill.

Well, last week when I was putting together the menu for a little dinner party we were hosting: braised pork shoulder, cinnamon scented lentils, Caesar salad, chocolate cake…I had a brainstorm! What if I took the Fennel Pickled Oranges that I had canned from a recipe I found at Café Libby, and chopped them up and put them between the layers of the chocolate cake? Now when my sister and I were little we thought those chocolate orange stick candies were about the best thing going and chocolate and orange is still one of my favorite combos, so I figured how could I loose. I used the recipe for Sin City Chocolate Cake from Chocolate Cake by Michele Urvater and on top of the frosting, between the layers, I sprinkled about ¼ cup of chopped oranges. O-o-o-la-la! It was just the right amount! There was a subtle fennel orangey flavor mixed with some pretty serious chocolate…my guests proclaimed it a success and it will go into my ‘keeper’ recipes.

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