Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chocolate Orange Cake and Nice Send Off!

Yesterday afternoon was my last day in my previous position, and today I am on to new adventures.  The day before, I brought in a cake for my friend Mary's birthday.  It was a bit of an experiment.  I took a basic pound-type cake, added cocoa and orange oil, and glazed it with a chocolate orange glaze.  I kept waiting to hear whether she liked it or not, but no word...  Hmmm.  That's not the typical scenario.  I figured Mary was busy and that she'd let me know later if it was good, how she liked it, etc.

At 3:30 yesterday, a number of faculty and my Chair from the English Department held a little fare-well reception for me.  I walked into the room and there was Mary's cake, repurposed for my little shin-dig!  It was really very sweet of her to donate her cake to our party, though I never would have intentionally baked a cake for myself!  It was a good thing, because I actually got to have a slice of my own creation, and it was nice to hear how much everyone enjoyed it.  My friend Melora said it was the best cake she ever had!  What a compliment!

Last Day in the English Department

After the reception, I packed up a big box of eight years-worth of stuff and junk, of precious photos and memorabelia, and needed a cart to drag it all out to my car.  I returned the cart and remembered the plant Mary gave me as a gift for my new office space.  I walked out to my car carrying one lone. little plant.  What a cliche vision of someone's last day! 

Today I am filled with very mixed emotions.  I am so excited and grateful for this new opportunity, but mixed with that is a good bit of melancholy over leaving behind a very happy part of my life.  The future is looking good, however, and I will embrace this new job with as much positive energy and enthusiasm as I can.  Meanwhile, baking continues.  The baking is a constant.


1/4 cup butter (4 tbsp.) softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange oil
1 teaspoon dried orange rind (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare bundt or tube pan:  spray with vegetable spray or grease and flour.

Cream butter with sugar.  Add vanilla extract and orange oil.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Add sour cream.

Mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl.  Add to butter mixture.  Mix on low until all ingredients are completely combined. 

Bake for about 40 minutes (depending on your oven).  Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, or middle of cake bounces back when lightly pressed.  Pay attention - you may need to bake this five or ten minutes longer, depending on your oven.


2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. orange oil

Stir together sugar and cocoa powder in medium bowl.  Add water, a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is the consistency of Elmer's glue.  Drizzle over cake.


1 comment:

  1. What an exciting time in your life Jeannie! The demand for your sinful baked goods continues to grow, your professional life has taken a new upswing, and your "Grandma" side is getting ready to expand as well. All wonderful and well deserved things! I am so happy for you...