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Posted on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 8 a.m.

Chocolate glazed orange cake inspired by Andy Warhol

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

Surprisingly, given his penchant for fame and marketing, the gift shop at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh has virtually no merchandise bearing the man's face, name, signature, or any other connection.

When my BFF Wendy and I were there recently, we found many books, some posters, a lot of kitsch, and very cute "Wonder Woman" and "Super Girl" make-up mirrors (now Wendy's and mine, respectively) in honor of the current featured exhibit: "Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross". But nothing in the shop screamed "Andy Warhol" ... very strange. They kinda missed the point, didn't they ...?

I happen to love Andy Warhol and spent a weekend in Chicago more than 20 years ago with my then-husband, specifically to see an exhibit at the Art Institute. That the artistic design of everyday products was respected and elevated to the level of "fine art," and that our modern surroundings — such as grocery store aisles, where I practically live — were deemed as worthy of documenting as landscapes in past times, is an attitude I esteem.

That Warhol also threw some irony and humor into the mix... well, that only makes him more intriguing. The man was fascinating.

At the gift shop, the most representative item I could find to commemorate my having finally found my way to this long-elusive site was a set of "Desserts" note cards. These not only feature Warhol's own sketches of treats, but they also offer recipes for the pictured items... oh, this was clearly a souvenir meant for me!

I didn't need to make strawberry ice cream or a frozen pink lemonade —  it's cold out. But an orange cake? Simple, fragrant, rich, seductively moist... a slice of this cake is perfect with coffee or tea or cocoa.

I tweaked the recipe a bit, because that's what I do. Warhol took Campbell's soup cans and made them his own; I did the same thing with this cake.

Andy Warhol himself once stated: "Food is my great extravagance." How could I not love the man?

Chocolate-Glazed Orange Cake
(adapted from a recipe developed by Stephen Bruce of Serendipity 3)

1/2 cup butter, softened
zest of 2 oranges
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from the 2 oranges you zested)
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with foil, then grease the foil.

In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, zest and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes until very light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one by one. Beat in the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. On low speed, slowly beat in the orange juice and buttermilk.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove the cake from the pan; remove foil from bottom of cake, flip over so the top is up, and let cool completely.

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Melt the chocolate chips and cream together; stir until smooth, then spread over the top of the cake. Let the glaze set for 30 minutes before cutting the cake.

Makes 8 servings.

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Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Her newest feature is Frugal Floozie Friday, seeking fun and food for $5 or less ... really! Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.