The flavors chocolate and orange do not always play well together, but when they do, I adore them (full disclosure: my wedding cake was an orange poppyseed cake soaked in grand marnier, covered with ganache). Chances of a successful orange-chocolate pairing are increased if the chocolate used is high-quality bittersweet and the orange is pure, clean and tart. Too much sweetness can easily ruin this tempermental combination, which is why I was eager to try this week's Heavenly Bakers recipe, a layer of genoise split and filled with orange curd and frosted with bittersweet ganache, as the key to this recipe is the elusive (um, in these parts) bitter orange from Seville in Spain.
Fellow bakers have procured their Seville oranges at Monterey Market in Berkeley, but after searching through over 25 varieties of citrus, the Bergamot sour oranges from California (pictured above) were the closest thing I found to Seville. Maybe I missed the Seville's short season, or came to the market too late in the day. The Bergamot variety is apparently "a cross of a Seville orange and Pear lemon, is sour and not edible, the oil from the peel is used in Earl Grey tea." I know the only way to test them is to just tear into one and throw a lip over it.
If they are very sour, I plan on using a combination of them and tangelos (or regular navel orange) to achieve a similar flavor in the True Orange Genoise. Either way I need to use them.
What should I make with these bergamot sour oranges? Will they work for genoise?
My kitchen floor is being replaced today, and my oven is disconnected (what? I cannot bake a cake with a disconnected oven?!), so you have until Wednesday to lend me your advice!