Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Chocolate-Covered Ponkan Orange Bread

St. Valentine’s Day in Japan is not so much fun for this obachan who was once spoiled in the U.S. about this custom. This site says how it is like in Japan. See, I miss the nice cards and flowers I received on Valentine’s day when I was in the States, but here in Japan, women don’t get anything today. Yeah, of course, White Day comes one month later. But … I don’t mean to deny everything about Japanese Valentine’s Day and White Day, but this part of sending giri (obligation) gifts back and forth just to contribute to the sales of confectionery makers is … it’s not something I like very much. And wait and see. They’ll import the custom of “Black Day” from South Korea next. I'm almost positive.

Ponkan oranges from my dad's orchard

Though I didn’t take part in the chocolate-giving custom this time, I did something with chocolate to amuse myself. I baked my favorite ponkan bread (or cake?) and coated it with chocolate, in honor of St. Valentine’s Day.

Ever since I found this recipe (Japanese) on the net about one year ago, I have made this orange cake many times using ponkan oranges from my dad’s orchard. This is my favorite. The aroma and flavor of ponkan oranges make the cake a little different from regular orange cake, and even my parents liked it when I made it once at their house. I heard that orange and chocolate make a good combination and I had been wanting to try it out. So, today was the best opportunity.

And here’s what I learned today: The ponkan bread probably tastes better without chocolate coating.
Maybe orange frosting would be better. ;P


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, ur cake looks awesome! But yeah, I love the idea of chocolate with orange, I tried Kit Kat Orange once, and looooveee it! Want to try Cadburry's one, but I learned that milk chocolate is not good for you, too much sugar, and dark is better. Ever considered of trying a rich cocoa coating for you cake? My mom usually put dark chocolate coating on her homemade brownies, and it tastes so gooood, thick, rich, and good for the heart! (in wise portion ofcourse :P, which is hard to practice >___<)
Cheers, K-Nina

Fashionasia said...

So what did you give out??? hehe

Anonymous said...

I could never understand the Japanese idea of women giving the gifts..hmmmmm...Oh well...And the cake looks marvelous!!!! Orange and chocolate usually make a good combination, but the ponkan oranges might be too different in taste....maybe?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

This cake looks delicious and I find that oranges add a special flavor/aroma to chocolate... To me, the combination is more than ok, but it depends on people's tastes.

rae said...

are you teasing me with a link to the cake recipe IN JAPANESE? could you translate and post it? it looks so nice and i DO love oranges. it might be nice sliced into two layers and filled with orange marmalade....

Unknown said...

Obachan i usually send some flowers to my best friends(girls) to say that i love them dearly ...and i don't care much about Valentine's présent from my boyfriend but here " a Happy Valentine 's day to you "...from
a crazy french cook in Provence who still owes you a recipe.....

boo_licious said...

Happy Belated Valentine's Day Obachan! Ponkan sounds like the Chinese mandarin oranges. Too bad they didn't work out - I suspect it's becoz they aren't as tangy as oranges.

K and S said...

what a lovely cake! the chocolate frosting is an added plus!

Hope you had a nice Valentine's day.

Jennie Durren said...

Obachan, the cake looks really nice! Sometimes I like the flavors of orange and chocolate together, and sometimes I don't. For example, I love Jaffa cakes, but orange-flavored chocolate bonbons... yuck! They actually make the nerve in my jaw hurt.

Happy Valentine's Day! 私は、花をもらった!よかったねえ!

obachan said...

Hi, nice to hear from you. I’ve never tried Kit Kat Orange yet.
Yeah, rich cocoa coating must be good. I’ve never tried brownies with chocolate coating yet… it must be really rich. ;)

What I gave out? I told all my colleagues at the izakaya that I made a chocolate covered orange cake. ;)

Oh, why? In Western way of thinking, does it always have to be men who give gifts?
It’s not that my ponkan orange cake and chocolate was not a good match or the ponkan oranges taste too different from other kinds of oranges. It’s just that the fragrance of ponkan is so good that I prefer appreciating it as-is to the fullest. So I thought that I would like the frosting made with ponkan orange juice better, because it’ll be 100% ponkan flavor, nothing else, you know. Sorry my “Engrish” is always so confusing.

Yeah, like I mentioned above, it’s just that I like appreciating the aroma of ponkan to the fullest. Actually what I did at the end was that I peeled off the chocolate coating, placed a few pieces on the tea saucer, and I ate the uncoated ponkan orange cake, then took a ship of nice hot milk tea, and tasted the chocolate coating, and another ship of tea, then the cake again…Everything tasted just heavenly. ;)

Of course I’m teasing you. How come you didn’t know that until now ;)
Kidding! I’m not going to post the translation of the recipe on my blog, but I’ll see what I can do.
Do you have ponkan oranges there?

OH, thank you for your nice Valentine’s Day wish. See, this is the kind of present I like. Not the bunch of obligation gifts going back and forth!!

No, it was not that they didn’t work out together. I just prefer enjoying ponkan aroma as straight as possible.

kat & satoshi
My Valentine’s Day was definitely sugar-high and fat-rich. ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too. お花はステキなプレゼントですね!
BTW, last night I tried making something like larb, the Thai meat salad that you mentioned before. I had to make a lot of omissions and substitutions, but the lime flavored meat was just so fascinating!! This is going to be my new favorite. Thanks a million for mentioning about it. :D

a said...

Hi Obachan,

How are you?

I love ponkan itself but I never had one with the cake...thanks for sharing it and I wish your one of my neighbors just across the street to try this it...yummy!


obachan said...

I with you were one of my neighbors, so that I can try the food you make, and your sister and your mom make, too. :)

milgwimper said...


HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! (Well a little belated but hey better late than never! ;P ) I was thinking that your cake might be better the other way around, make a chocolate cake and a ponkan frosting as you suggested, but I was wondering if you could zest the ponkan into the cake and the chocolate frosting...Things to ponder. :) If you don't mind I would love to have the recipe, but no rush considering I am waitinf for the repairman to come and replace my oven. I might be 80 by the time I get a new stove. *sigh*

milgwimper said...

Oh and I forgot! Thank you in advance for the recipe! Sorry I don't know where my manners went! :)

Valentina said...

Hi, what a lovely cake. I believe that you visited a blog I write about Brazilian recipes about Brazilian food. I also write another blog:http//trembominenglish.blogspot.com. I love the look of this orange cake.It looks really soft and moist. We don't get ponkan orange in the UK (to my knowledge). I wonder if it would be good with other types of orange as well.I shall come back.

obachan said...

Thanks. Happy belated valentines day to you, too. Mmmm… the other way around might be an interesting idea.
It’s very nice of you to say thank you in advance. Please email me at the address in my profile.

Thanks for your nice comment. I think it would good with other types of oranges, too. : )
BTW, I tried the URL, but somehow I got redirected to MSN website all the time.

Valentina said...

Hi, I made a mistake with the URL - shame on me. It is http://trembomenglishversion.blogspot.com//
Have a lovely Sunday

Melissa CookingDiva said...

It looks delicious, Obachan!

myCoffee said...

Such a lovely looking cake! Wonder if it's too much trouble to have the recipe in English? Would so love to give this a try.
Thanks, either way.

obachan said...

You have a lovely site. Thanks. : )

Thank you. When I was a child, I never thought that dad’s ponkan oranges can be used for sweets. No, I was wrong, and I’m glad that I was.

Sure. Can you email me at the address in my profile? Thanks.