Happy New Year everyone!
2016 was quite the year. Some very good things happened for me personally (I started grad school, for one). But overall, it’s a year I’m quite glad to have behind us. Terrorist attacks across Europe, Aleppo, Brexit, Trump, Carrie Fisher (I met her and Gary, her adorable dog, at my vet a few years ago. She was so kind and friendly as we sat and chatted in the waiting room, just what you’d hope a celebrity would be like.)
So, I thought I’d start 2017 on a high note by sharing the recipe for the Chocolate Orange Brownies I made for the New Year’s party I attended. Enjoy!
- 14 tbsp butter (1 and 3/4 sticks butter)
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (approx. 5 oz)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- pinch salt
- zest of 1/2 navel orange*
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350* and butter and flour a 9x9in pan.
- Over a low heat, melt the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan. If you don’t have the right size saucepan (too big and the mixture will spread so much you won’t be able to fold in the flour, too small and you’ll end up with flour everywhere!), you can always use a bowl over a double boiler.
- Once fully melted remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Whisk the sugars and salt into the chocolate/butter mixture in the saucepan, mixing until well combined.
- Whisk in the orange zest.*
- Whisk in eggs, two at a time, until just combined.Don’t overmix at this point or your brownies will be caky not fudgy (unless you like caky brownies, then go right ahead!)
- Switch to a wooden spoon or silicon spatula and gently stir in the the flour and cocoa powder.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be light brown and look a bit dry. They should bounce back a bit like a cake, but they will have a much denser feel if you poke at them.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.
- Traditional: omit orange zest, add 1 tsp vanilla extract before the eggs.
- Peppermint: omit orange zest, add 1/4-1/2 tsp peppermint extract before the eggs.
- Coffee: omit orange zest, add 2 tsp instant espresso powder with the sugar.
- Nutty: fold in 1/2-3/4 cup roughly chopped, toasted walnuts. (Do take the time to toast them in a dry pan or the oven and allow them to cool completely. The flavor will be much better this way)
- Spiced: add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg with the flour and cocoa.
- Spicy: omit the orange, add 3/4 tsp ancho chili powder, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cardamom, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg with the flour and cocoa.