Orange Brownies

I love the combination of orange and chocolate. I recently reinvented the traditional lemon square and created the Orange Square instead. Happy with the way that turned out, I thought I’d try making orange brownies.

First things first. I had to find a good vegan brownie recipe. There are tons of great ones out there that will satisfy your particular brownie profile, whatever that may be: gooey, cakey, fudgy, crumbly… I wanted a gooey, fudgy recipe this time and came upon this great recipe from VeganBaking.net. I’m not sure of the science behind it all but I think the trick with this recipe is pouring boiling water over the chocolate mixture to get that fudgy consistency before adding in the other ingredients. I’d never made brownies with this technique before and I was happy with the result. So I began with this recipe, made a few ingredient changes for that orangey twist, and a deliciously decadent brownie was born!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 tbsp tepid water
  • 2 tbsp ground flax meal
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 7 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 6 tbsp Earth Balance vegan buttery stick (or other vegan butter in stick form–NOT from a tub)
  • 1 ½ tsp orange extract
  • zest of one orange

Preheat your oven to 350. Then begin with making your flax mixture that acts as an egg substitute. Whisk together the 6 tbsp water and flax meal and then set aside for 10 minutes. It will turn into a thick consistency, much like beaten eggs.

Line a brownie pan with parchment paper in both directions so there are four flaps hanging over the sides of the pan. This will facilitate an easier time popping the brownies out of the pan after they’ve baked.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda and set aside.

In another bowl, combine the cocoa powder, chocolate chips and salt. Pour the boiling water over this chocolate mixture, stirring constantly with a spoon until all the chocolate chips have melted. The mixture will resemble a paste. Add in the sugar, vegan butter, orange extract, orange zest and flax “eggs” and mix with an electric mixture until smooth. Then using a spoon, mix in the flour/baking soda mixture. The batter will be very thick by this point. I had to use my hand to knead it all together evenly. Mattie, author of the original recipe offers this word of caution: “Refrain from mixing this dough with an electric mixer at this point; this will overwork the dough and activate too much gluten, negatively affecting the texture of the brownies.”

Now transfer the batter to the parchment-lined pan and using your fingers, press it down evenly into the pan.

Bake it for 35 minutes on your oven’s lowest rack. After baking, transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for an hour.

Using the flaps of parchment paper, pull the brownies out of the pan and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing into squares.

 

Happy eating!

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