Chocolate Orange Cake Bars

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I hate to say this, but I had a rough night. I don’t want to talk about it. No one is physically hurt, other than my feelings. Don’t worry, my hubby isn’t to blame :). He’s great! Don’t be fooled, we have our moments! Everyone does. It’s okay to admit! But my feelings were hurt none the less. So, to brighten the mood, I want to tell you three things.

  1. Today is my date-i-versary with the hubs. 9 Years ago today we went on our first date.
  2. Today is a new day.
  3. Chocolate Orange Cake Bars will always brighten your day, right?

Chocolate Orange Cake Bars

What’s the deal with the Chocolate Orange Cake Bars? Well… I saw them on Tatyana’s Everyday Food YouTube Channel. They looked good. I also needed something to take to our PEO Meeting so… Plus, I love chocolate and orange together. Does anyone remember those Chocolate Orange flavored oranges you get usually at Christmas time? You Wack it, Crack it, and Unwrap it. They are sooooooooo good and addicting. Hubby said he’s never had one. I guess I’ll have to find him one and introduce him to it.

The Process

So this mixing bowl, I got it from my friend Doti. Sooooo pretty! And while they are heavy, they are perfect mixing bowls. It’s a set of two although she thought it was a set of three. It doesn’t matter. Maybe if she finds the third she’ll hit me up (hint hint!). With all of the research I’ve done on cakes, the one thing I’ve learned is less is more. Basically, mix a cake until it comes together and no more. That’s a way to avoid the cake dom.

Truth be told, I prefer my stand mixer. I get tired of holding the hand mixer. #truth. But sometimes it is easier to use the hand mixer to not over mix. Although it’s when you add the flour that you get to that overmix point. Flour has gluten. Also, cake flour is less glutenous (word?) than bread flour and ap flour is somewhere in between.

This coffee and chocolate thing… I’m not sure I totally buy it nor do I totally understand it. Everyone says that coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate. I wonder how they figured that out. This is instant coffee. That was her recommendations, but you could always brew a pot of coffee (or use your Keurig) to use. Just omit the water that is required to bring the coffee to this point too.

Now it’s time to mix in the flour. Remember: Don’t overmix!

a Hint from me:

How many people hate dirtying up extra bowls you have to clean (raises hand!). Okay, so when they say you need to sift all your dry ingredients together, and then add to the bowl (even in batches), here’s what I do… I put the sifter on a plate. I dump my ingredients in. Then I sift into the wet batter. Yes, I dirtied up a plate, but it takes up way less room in the dishwasher.

And the stuff that fell through the sifter here on the plate… well it got sifted and I just slide it off into the bowl when I’m done with the sifter. Bam! All dry ingredients sifted and one less bowl to wash.

Back to the cake

So this got sifted in batches and mixed in. Mix until just combined. Easy peasy. By the way, this is my absolute FAVORITE spatula. I got it for like $4.95 at a Kitchen supply store in town. Now, I own 3. I want a couple more maybe. They are just so nice. Now if you need a stiff spatula… maybe not quite right, but for soft and pliable, perfect!

And you notice how flat that cake is? Then pour the ganache over the top. Spread it out with an offset spatula. It will run down the sides. That’s cool. Spread that out too. I placed a cooling rack over my baking sheet to catch the excess drip.

To finish

She finished hers off with Candied Orange slices. I kind of worried I wouldn’t find those, but I did. I went to the candy store at the mall. They had all kinds of flavors. Obviously, I wanted orange, but they had multiple flavors. Now, take a kid with you to the candy store, you obviously have to buy them candy too, right? I got Abug some Reese’s Pieces. Yup, she might be a tad spoiled.

Then cut these into squares and serve. One mistake I made with them is my Orange Marmalade that I added was sugar-free. Sugar and I have a love-hate relationship. It’s quite bad at times to the point I forget to add it to brownies or as in the other day I added too much powdered sugar to some icing. The icing was okay. The brownies were not. I’m telling you… a love-hate relationship.

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