If you are after a moist, fudgy brownie you can not go wrong with this chocolate orange brownies recipe. These are super moist, fudgy, delicious and so easy to make!
About This Recipe
- These chocolate orange brownies are not only fudgy and moist they have a delicious nutty crunchy texture.
- These homemade brownies are made with dark chocolate and not cocoa powder giving them the best flavour ever.
- Serve them with tea or coffee for a lovely afternoon treat, or warm and enjoy with a scoop of ice cream for and easy dessert.
Dark chocolate – I like dark chocolate because, it is not as sweet as milk chocolate and it has a stronger flavour. It also helps to give the brownies a nice dark chocolate brown colour.
Brown sugar is white sugar coated with molasses making it soft and moist which is ideal for making fudgy brownies.
All purpose flour (plain flour) and not self-rising flour should be used to make brownies. The lack of a rising agent in the flour gives brownies the dense texture that they are known for.
Orange zest is just the outside skin of an orange that’s been finely grated.
You can make orange zest a number of ways:
- Use a grater and grate the orange skin on the side with the smallest holes.
- Use a micro plain, this looks like a traditional carpenter’s rasp (file) and is used to finely grate foods like cheese, fresh nutmeg and for zesting.
Eggs – use large eggs with an average weight of about 56 grams (2 ounces). Don’t use cold eggs straight from the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature before using.
Butter – salted or unsalted butter can be used.
Nuts – I used pecans to give the brownies crunchy texture, but you can use another nut. For a nuttier flavour the nuts can be lightly toasted before chopping into smaller pieces and adding to the brownie batter.
White chocolate chips (optional)– these don’t melt when cooked will give the brownies added texture and flavour.
Vanilla – use vanilla bean paste or extract.
Step 1 – Place the brown sugar, butter and chocolate into a large heat proof bowl.
Step 2 – Place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of just simmering water to melt the butter and chocolate.
Choose a small size saucepan because, the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.
The heat should also be kept low so as not to overheat the chocolate mixture, it should be only slightly warm.
If you have overheated the chocolate mixture, allow it to cool down before moving onto the next steps.
Otherwise, in step 4 you could end up chunks of cooked egg in the batter.
Step 3 – Mix in the orange zest and vanilla.
Step 4 – Mix in the eggs one at a time.
Step 5 – Add the half of the nuts, flour and white chocolate chips.
Step 6 – Gently mix the brownie batter until all the ingredients are just combined.
Step 7 – Spread the batter evenly into a tin lined with baking / parchment paper.
You can use a 19 cm (8 inch) square tin or use a 26 x 13 cm (10 x 5 inch) rectangular tin with sides that are at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) high.
Step 8 – Evenly sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts over the top of the batter.
Step 9 – Bake in a preheated oven, on the middle shelf for 30 – 40 minutes or until it is almost cooked.
You can tell when the chocolate orange brownies are done by look and feel.
The outside edges should look and feel firm and the centre should look and feel like it can do with a little more cooking, but it should not be runny.
If it does need a little more cooking, keep cooking and check again after five minutes and continue like this until it’s done.
Remove from the oven and place on a cake rack and allow to cool completely.
Then cover and store in the fridge for several hours or overnight before serving.
Chilling them will allow the flavours and texture to developed for the best tasting brownies.
How Many Chocolate Orange Brownies Does This Recipe Make?
That really depends on you! I have written the recipe to make 12 medium size brownies, but you can make smaller or larger brownie pieces.
For us, we will cut smaller pieces and get about 18 – 24 out of this recipe. This is because of the rich chocolate nature of these brownies.
General Tips For Making Brownies
- Don’t beat the ingredients together rather gently fold the brownie batter until just combined and there are no clumps left.
- Always use eggs and butter at room temperature, this will help give a lighter texture to the brownies. Get the eggs and butter out of the fridge about 1 hour before you start.
- Use brown sugar and not white sugar. Brown sugar has molasses in it and this will help to make the brownies fudge like.
- Make sure to spread the batter evenly into the baking pan for even cooking.
- Every oven is different, and temperature plays a key factor in how quickly they will bake. So, use an oven thermometer to check the temperature if are in doubt.
- Use a timer, to avoid over cooking.
- Use appropriate bake ware. The best pans are aluminium as these absorb heat much quicker than glass or ceramic dishes.
- Turn the tin 180 degrees halfway during cooking time will also help with even cooking. It will also prevent a spot from being over cooked if your oven has a hot spot.
- Always line the tins with baking paper. This will stop the brownies from sticking to the tin and it also makes it easier to get them out.
- Don’t be in a rush to eat them right away, if you can, leave them overnight or at the very least, a few hours. This will help them “settle in” and allow them to develop the flavours and texture that you want from a brownie.
- Replace the pecans with almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts or a combination.
- Leave out the nuts for a smooth fudge like brownie or replace the nuts with things like; broken pretzels, broken graham crackers (or plain cookies), chopped mints, broken Oreo’s for a crunchy texture or more chocolate chips.
- For a stronger orange flavour an extra teaspoon of orange zest.
- If you don’t have oranges use ½ – 1 teaspoon orange extract to flavour the brownies. But do be careful and don’t use too much of the extract as it can become overpowering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you freeze chocolate orange brownies?
Yes, these chocolate orange brownies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow the brownies to cool completely then cut into serving size pieces.
Rather than freeze the whole lot in one bag, freeze in small lots. Place the brownies in a freezer bag or tightly wrap in plastic, label and date before freezing.
When needed remove the required amount of brownies from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for several hours before serving.
Brownies are best cooked on the middle rack for even heat distribution.
Other Sweet Recipes
Chocolate Orange Brownies
- 115 grams (4 oz) salted butter
- 230 grams (8 oz) dark chocolate
- 150 grams (5 oz) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 40 grams (1.5 oz) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 150 grams (5 oz) chopped pecans
- 50 grams (2 oz) white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease and line a 19 cm square cake tin with baking paper, the paper should extend up past the sizes of the tin.
- Melt butter, dark chocolate, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Mix in the vanilla essence and orange zest to the mixture.
- Beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time.
- Take off the heat and add sifted flour, half the chopped pecans, and all white chocolate chips. Mix through.
- When batter is smooth, pour into the greased and lined tin and sprinkle on the remaining chopped pecans.
- Place in oven and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes. The brownies will be slightly under cooked at this stage, this is what you want. Don’t be tempted to cook the brownies longer, if you do, you will not get a moist, gooey, brownie. You can tell when the chocolate orange brownies are done by look and feel. The outside edges should look and feel firm and the centre should look and feel like it can do with a little more cooking, but it should not be runny.If it does need a little more cooking, keep cooking and check again after five minutes and continue like this until it’s done.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes.
- Then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack, before cutting into squares or triangles.
- Store in an airtight container for three to four days. These can be frozen.