Another Camp Cooking Adventure
Every time the family goes camping, we like to try something new. Last time, as you may recall, we cooked Breakfast in a Bag. This time, inspired by a long-vanished post we’d read on Chow.com, we decided to try baking chocolate cake in an orange. Here’s how that turned out.
How to Bake a Chocolate Cake in an Orange
1. Build a Fire
You need a nice bed of coals to bake your orange cakes, so start your fire before you begin to prepare the oranges and cake mix.
2. Prepare the Oranges
Cut the tops off the oranges and hollow out the oranges. This was the hardest part of the whole process. (As a bonus, the pulp contributed to both the salad and the orange & habañero sauce that accompanied the pulled pork we had for dinner.)
Then prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions. Of course, someone else could take care of this while you’re dealing with the oranges.
3. Add the Cake Mix
Fill the hollow oranges about three-quarters with cake mix. You don’t want to fill them too full or it’ll get really messy as they cook.
4. Wrap the Oranges
Put the tops back on the oranges and wrap them in aluminum foil. Twist the foil at the top so the oranges look like cartoon bombs.
By now, you should hopefully have a nice, hot bed of coals.
5. Cook the Oranges
Put your oranges right on top of the coals and let them roast. Our coals were hotter near the center than the edges, so we rotated the oranges every ten minutes, attempting something that resembled even heat exposure.
After 20 minutes, chocolate started oozing out of the tops of some of the oranges. One of the kids who was helping (getting kids to help with anything fire-related during a camping trip is a piece of cake) said it looked like flowing lava. And it did — delicious chocolate lava.
We checked on a few of the oranges. They weren’t quite done, so we decided cook them for another ten minutes. One note here: The coals were mighty hot (well, yeah, they’re coals!), so we used a pair of fire resistant gloves to remove and replace the oranges. You could use tongs, too, I suppose, but the gloves made it easy.
6. Unwrap and Eat
After taking the oranges off the coals, we let them cool for about ten minutes, then unwrapped them and set them on the table.
They weren’t the prettiest cakes ever baked, but no one really cared. The campers quickly descended upon dessert, and within minutes, only empty orange rinds remained.
The chocolate had a distinct orange flavor (as you’d imagine). As a variation, you could try vanilla cake mix, too — they tried vanilla over at the Cupcake Project and said it tastes like a creamsicle.