My husband and son have been asking me to make brownies for some time. I had been hesitating because <ahem> I hadn’t actually ever made brownies before except once from a mix a very, very long time ago. In fact, I don’t remember making brownies when I was a little girl and I don’t remember my late mom making them either. So I was very intrigued when I found a recipe for Best Chocolate Brownies in her recipe box. The recipe is scribbled on a piece of scrap paper in handwriting I don’t recognise. It was ripe for adaptation and as I’ve been thinking about Christmas, a chocolate orange combination immediately sprang to mind.
I have treasured memories of the Terry’s Chocolate Orange I always found in the toe of my stocking on Christmas morning. I used to eat one or two delicious segments a day in an attempt to make this annual treat last as long as possible. My husband couldn’t get over how much I treasured these treats and how amazed I was at how easily available they were in the shops in the UK at Christmastime. Santa must not have known about this back then as he used to have a great deal of trouble sourcing chocolate oranges when I was a little girl in Canada. I certainly never remember seeing them in a shop like one does today.
My Best Chocolate Orange Brownies incorporate both dark and milk chocolate as well as orange flavouring and rind for a rich, deep chocolatey flavour enhanced with a refreshing orange hit. You can use either orange flavouring or orange flower water and I have used dried orange rind as well as freshly grated.
After several test batches, I would say the most important thing with these brownies is to bake them enough but not too much. You want that gorgeous squidgy interior but the outside should have a bit of texture. My favourites are the pieces from the edge of the pan because they are gorgeously chewy. Another tip – use a whisk and a wooden spoon to make my Best Chocolate Orange Brownies, not an electric mixer. It gives a better texture.
Slice the brownies as you need them so that they stay fresher longer. Well covered (and well hidden) my Best Chocolate Orange Brownies will keep at room temperature for up to three days, although you will be lucky if they last that long! Perfect with a glass of milk or nice hot cup of tea or coffee, they are the treats that cold winter afternoons are made for!
- ¾ cup butter
- 4 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), chopped (I use dark chocolate chips)
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange extract/flavouring or orange blossom water
- the grated rind of 1 orange or 1 teaspoon dried or powdered grated orange rind
- 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
- In a bain marie or a saucepan over very low heat, melt the dark chocolate with the butter, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together well with a whisk.
- Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture with a wooden spoon.
- Add the orange flavouring.
- Mix the orange rind with the flour.
- Add the flour gradually to the chocolate mixture, folding it in gently but thoroughly with the wooden spoon.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan.
- Sprinkle the milk chocolate chips evenly over top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out virtually clean (the center should still be a bit squidgy).
- Cool completely before cutting into squares to serve.
My Best Chocolate Orange Brownies taste amazing with a scoop of Blood Orange Ice Cream.