Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dark Chocolate, Orange and Almond Brownies – a foot in both camps !

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In exchange for his killer salsa recipe, I made a homesick Hawaiian short-order chef some chocolate brownies as he had talked about them with almost as much affection as his far-off home. They were deeply disappointing, all gooey and chewy. I handed them over with an apology and a promise to amend the recipe.

 “Chewy? Gooey? That’s what a brownie is supposed to be!” he exclaimed and pronounced them “Pretty! Damn! Good!”
I’ve since discovered that brownie aficionados fall into one of two camps: chewy, gooey; or cakey. My blondie recipe is somewhere in between so I have reworked it into a bitter chocolate brownie that manages to be light without being too cake-y with hits of orange peel and pockets of dark chocolate to satisfy the chewy, gooey camp too.

For approximately 16 foot-in-both-camps brownies you will need...... to base-line a 23cm square cake tin and to pre-heat your oven to 160°C

150g butter
100g muscovado sugar
100g bitter orange marmalade (with peel)
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 teaspoons of (good quality) instant coffee dissolved in 2 teaspoons boiling water
3 eggs, beaten
150g plain flour
50g good quality cocoa powder (I used a gorgeous Fair Trade cocoa)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g good quality (70% cocoa solids) dark chocolate
50g toasted almonds, roughly chopped 

Icing sugar to dust 

1                    Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and using an electric mixer, cream together until light and fluffy. Add the marmalade and orange zest mix until combined with the butter mixture.
2                    Mix the coffee in with the beaten eggs and add this mixture to the bowl in three roughly equal amounts, beating until well combined with the butter mixture.
3                    Now, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix until just combined.
4                    Stir in the chopped chocolate and almonds to distribute them evenly throughout the batter.
5                    Transfer the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
6                    Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve warm with good ice cream or cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and cutting into squares.

They’ll keep for up to a week (in someone else’s house maybe!) if sealed in an airtight container or cling wrap.

UPDATE: They get even more chocolatey and orange-y and luscious overnight. Alchemy at work...
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  1. Those look delightful! I'm one of those who has a foot in both camps. I'll eat brownies both cakey and chewy!

  2. Put me in the gooey, chewy camp, darling! For a southerner, that's the ONLY way to make a brownie :)

    Looks brilliant, and what a super nice gesture for your salsa-making friend!

  3. These brownies look so delicious and also very unique. Cakey are chewy are both fine by me!

  4. I think these ones that you made look more cakey and that's how I like mine. I am impressed that they are standing on their own being cakey. :) Delicious looking, Hester. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

    ~ ray ~

  5. Oooh, which camp am I in? I shouldn't have to think this hard about it! Those brownies look so tender and delicious.

  6. Ohhhh I haven't had brownies for a while (for dieting purpose) and I'll go crazy with these delicious brownies Hester! Almond is my favorite nuts and glad you added it! =) Drooling here...

  7. Sound delicious! I'm definitely in the gooey Brownie camp.

  8. 24 hours later, these are definitely both cakey and chewy :)

  9. Oh yummy yum! What a great combination of flavors. Thanks for sharing and making my mouth water:)

  10. YES! Chewy and gooey! No cakey brownies here! YUM! And chocolate and orange is my personal favorite chocolate-fruit combo!

  11. Oh Hester...I love both camps! I know the cakey vs. fudgy debate. But for me, it depends on what I'm in the mood for! With these..I don't have to choose! And I'm a huge fan of the chocolate orange combo! These looks scrumptious!

  12. The brownies look wonderful.

  13. I'm all for gooey and chewy! Glad these fabulous gems will please us all!!!

  14. These sound delightful!

  15. I tthink being both caamp friendly is the perfect solution :D
    How gorgeous are these! And so totally every person friendly :)


  16. Gooey camp here too. If it's not gooey, it's a flat cake. :)


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