It has been awhile since I created a brownie recipe for the blog. Today felt like a good day. As I was contemplating what kind of brownie I was craving, orange chocolate came to mind and I just couldn’t shake it. So, let me introduce you to the most amazing Dark Chocolate Orange Brownies…ever invented.
Start by prepping your pan. I like to have this ready, because as soon as the batter is prepped you want it in the oven as quickly as possible. So, I like to line my pan with parchment, it just makes it so simple to remove from the pan. I also like to spray once I have the parchment is on. Now, if you don’t care about how pretty the brownies are coming out of the pan, I am a food photographer so I have to be kind of anal…just butter or spray. That’s it.
I used 2 types of chocolate for this, well 3 if you count the unsweetened dark cocoa powder. It was a semi sweet and unsweetened. I love that blend. I used Baker’s chocolate for mine, but use any type you prefer. I like Baker’s because it is pretty inexpensive and super easy to find.
So, chop into chunks. Don’t waste too much time on this, these pieces don’t need to be perfect.
I set back half the semi sweet chunks to fold in last. I like the chunks in the batter, so I always hold a little bit back.
Add chocolates and butter to microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds the first time. Mix, and return to the microwave for 15 second intervals, mixing lightly for about 30 seconds after each time. You will want to get the chocolate to where it is just about melted, but don’t worry about all the chunks being melted, it’s okay to leave a few. Set aside to cool.
Next, zest your orange. I always make sure and wash my orange before I start. I love my microplane for zesting too, it is so simple and quick to use. Set the zest aside once it is done.
Add your eggs and brown sugar to medium sized bowl. I love the caramley (is that even a word?) brown sugar give to brownies. If you prefer a granulated, use that.
Now, beat them on high with a stand, hand or even your own hand for a few minutes. You want them to get kind of light and fluffy. Mine took about 2 minutes. Add in vanilla and salt and beat again for about 20-30 seconds. Now, set your whisk or mixer aside and trade out for a spatula for folding. Also, my nails are making me cringe right now. I guess it is right on cue with me cooking in my tshirt and sweats. Just keeping it classy!
Here is what the batter should look like. Light and fluffy.
Add in your melted chocolate mixture.
I used half wheat, half all purpose flour for this recipe. In my cakes, cookies, brownies etc. I always use a soft winter wheat. It is lower in protein then the hard red or winter wheat. What does all that mean? Just that the soft wheat gives a more tender crumb, which is desirable for brownies and cookies! No, one wants a cookie to be tough! I found a farm who grows soft winter wheat and I have loved them so much! I will support local farmers whenever I am able! Farm Fresh wheat is out of Washington and an incredible family. My wheat was ground in my Nutrimill, I would be lost without my grain mill! I like to sift my flours and cocoa powder into the batter. It makes it so much easier to fold in. At this point, you won’t need to mix much, just fold to incorporate. Last up is the orange zest, fold this in as well.
Trade your whisk or beaters for a spatula at this point. I like to fold the flours in, it keeps it from getting tough.
Next is the chocolate chunks and orange zest.
Pour into your prepared pan.
It is a fairly thick batter, so you may need to smooth just a bit. Now, place in oven. Y’ALL…doesn’t this batter look awesome!
Bake about 35 minutes. These are pretty thick brownies, so they take awhile. You will know when they are done as the top will start to crack a little, it will look dry and pull away from the edges just a little bit.
Wait about 10 minutes before trying to pull from pan. It just helps to set them a little bit. With the parchment it makes it so simple to remove from the pan.
Place on cooling rack.
Time to move on to the candied orange zest and ganache. Start with the orange zest. I always wash my oranges with soap before starting. I use this tool, or one similar to it for zest, I couldn’t find mine on Amazon. So zest one orange. It’s doesn’t take much for the decoration. If you want more, double this recipe.
Now, it is going to be cooked in a simple syrup, what that means is sugar and water. I used equal parts here. Add them to a small sauce pan and heat on medium heat.
Add your orange zest once it has come to a boil.
Keep it at a very low boil for about 7-10 minutes, the zest will soften.
Remove from the syrup and coat with sugar.
Next up is prepping the ganache. I didn’t have heavy cream, which I normally use to make ganache, no big deal, just add a little butter. So, heat your milk and butter to just under a boil.
Pour over your chocolate. I like the Hershey’s Dark, it’s about 65 percent, which is perfect for me!
Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
Then whisk until smooth. If you need to throw it in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds, do that. Mine needed a little extra. Isn’t it so beautiful?
I cut my brownies into 16 pieces. I know this seems like a pretty small piece, but let me tell you. They are so rich, this size is perfect!
I am feeling pretty good about that decision to put the chocolate chunks in. Just look at that melty goodness!!
You can either spread the ganache over the top or put a small dollop on each piece. I wanted the dollop, but only for aesthetics.
I then spread it just a little. I wasn’t worried that it covered the whole top perfectly.
Top with the beautiful candied orange zest.
You guys… the texture….
And my boys waited as long as they could. They waited as the brownies cooled, then as the candied orange zest cooked, finally waiting on the ganache was torture too. But, it was worth it. As soon as I said go, they went after them immediately.
Is there not something so satisfying about these brownies?? You have seriously got to try these Dark Chocolate Orange Brownies. They are just so good!