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For syrup: Using vegetable peeler, remove peel (orange part only) from oranges in strips. Mince enough peel to measure 4 tablespoons. Mix honey, orange juice and 2 tablespoons orange peel (reserve remaining 2 tablespoons peel for cake) in heavy medium saucepan. Boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Set honey syrup aside. For cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 9-inch square baking pan with 2-inch-high sides. Line bottom with waxed paper. Butter paper. Dust pan with flour. Using electric mixer, beat first 8 ingredients in large bowl until fluffy. Mix in reserved 2 tablespoons minced orange peel. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder into medium bowl. Mix half and half and lemon juice in small bowl. Beat dry ingredients alternately with half and half mixture into butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix in currants. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (Cake will not rise to top of pan.) Cool cake 20 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen. Turn cake out onto rack; cool. Peel off paper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover syrup and cake separately and let stand at room temperature.) For frosting: Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Cool to barely luke warm. Using electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until light. Add chocolate and 1/4 cup honey syrup and beat until smooth and light. Chill until thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cut cake horizontally in half. Place bottom layer cut side up on platter. Brush with 1/4 cup honey syrup. Spread 1 1/4 cups frosting over. Brush remaining 1/4 cup syrup over cut side of top cake layer. Place cake cut side down atop filled layer. Set aside 2/3 cup frosting for garnish. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Press almonds around sides. Spoon remaining 2/3 cup frosting into pastry bag fitted with small star tip. Pipe frosting decoratively around top edge of cake. Chill cake until frosting sets, about 1 hour. Garnish with orange slices. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.) 12 Servings Bon Appetit December 1991
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