Chocolate-Tangerine Creamsicle Cake

I love chocolate cake. I cannot stress or repeat it enough. But one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes is my fluffy fudge cake, which is made using bloomed cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and meringue, just to give the cake a dense, fudge-y start and a light, airy finish. Because yes, some cakes can have it all and do all of that. I’m contrasting the cake with tangerine, coconut, and honey, mostly because I have a shit-ton of tangerines thanks to a family friend who owns a tangerine farm, and I need to get rid of those someway-somehow.

The inspiration for this dessert came from an oldie but a goodie, which were Chloe Coscarelli’s orange-chocolate cream cakes, which themselves were inspired by the Hostess Chocolate Cakes. While this cake is not vegan like Chloe’s, it still captures the same flavor profiles and transports you back to your childhood of eating those Hostess cakes while at the same time, enhancing your experience with the flavor of tangerine, honey, and coconut.

For the cake:
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup lukewarm to warm water

Melt the chocolate chips with egg yolks, cocoa powder, and oil. Whip the egg whites with sugar, vinegar, and baking soda until it forms stiff peaks. Sift the flour. Fold ingredients together. Pour onto a lined shallow baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cool entirely before removing the cake from the tray.

For the cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip together ingredients to stiff peaks.

For the coconut crumble:
1/4 cup tapioca maltodextrin
2 tablespoons coconut oil; melted

Blend together until the mixture forms into clusters. Break apart into smaller pieces, about the size of your pinkie nail.

For the tangerine gel:
3 tangerines; juiced and zested
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Combine the cornstarch with the juice of one of the tangerines. Combine and reduce with the remaining tangerine juice and zest. Cool completely before using.

For the honey-tangerine soaking liquid:
2 tangerines; juiced and zested
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cups water
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cool completely before using.

For assembly:
You will need a 4 to 5 inch ring mold, parchment paper, and string

Using the ring mold, cut out six rounds from the cake. Crumble the remaining cake. Line the ring mold with parchment, and press about 1/4 cup of crumbled cake into the bottom. Soak 2 tablespoons of liquid. Press to make sure that the first layer will stay together. Layer on the cream, coconut crumble, some of the tangerine gel, and press on a round of cake. Repeat the steps of soaking and layering, then place on a third round. Soak again. Take 2 tablespoons of cream and 1 tablespoon of gel and mix together. Spoon on top of the cake. Garnish with pieces of crumble and cake crumbs. You can also garnish with finely grated tangerine zest as well. Remove the ring mold, and tie with the string so that the parchment stays intact. Repeat these steps with the other two portions of the cake, so that you have a total of three mini layer cakes. Refrigerate to set completely before serving.


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