2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened, Dutch processed cocoa
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
¾ cup sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup hot water
½ cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat two 8-inch cake pans with butter and cocoa powder.
In a mixer, using a paddle attachment; cream together the eggs and sugar until fluffy, then add the vanilla, sour cream, vinegar and oil. Once thoroughly combined; sift in the baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and espresso powders with one cup of all purpose flour, mix well then add the second cup of flour and the cup of hot water. Mix until the batter is thoroughly combined, then pour into evenly into the two 8-inch prepared cake pans and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
Blood Orange Butter Cream
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 ½ to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt
¼ cup blood orange reduction
To make the reduction; take four blood oranges, peel and segment squeezing all of the juice into a sauce pan, add ¼ cup of agave nectar, bring to a simmer on medium heat and let reduce by half. Let cool before using in the butter cream recipe.
*This reduction also makes a great sweetener for iced tea.*
In a mixer, using a whisk attachment; beat the butter with the vanilla bean paste, blood orange extract, reduction and salt until fluffy, then start adding the confectioners’ sugar *sifting* one cup at a time until thoroughly mixed and fluffy. If you notice the butter cream is too soft, refrigerate for 20 minutes before spreading.
To assemble the cake I like to evenly distribute the butter cream in the middle and on top leaving the chocolate cake layers exposed. Drizzle the top of the cake with a little bit of the blood orange reduction and top with a slice of candied blood orange.