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

  13. These sound delightful!

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


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


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