Totally agree!! ...and I would like to add....... "No matter what you accessorize it with!!"
Brownies are my go to yummies when my chocolate tooth overpowers me, be it for a warm brownie with a dollop of ice- cream drizzled chocolate sauce, or brownie by itself or the same on a sizzler plate. I still can't decide if its the body craving for it or the soul or both! but it always has a happy ending! and a happy me! and brownies go with almost anything folded in! from marshmallows , nuts, dry fruits, choco chunks etc. Here I tried to incorporate my favorite Chocolate pair.. "Orange"!! Chocolate-Orange is a match made in heaven with their flavors complimenting each other beautifully.
When I came across this Candied orange peel recipe, by Suma Rowjee from "Cakes and More", I knew I had to try it. I'm not a fan of plum cakes, or dry fruit cakes and the like. But the choco- orange union took place with this Brownie! (Gave a pat on my back for successfully experimenting this) My son munched on couple of these orange peels thinking they were those gummies from the candy store. Glad it clicked!
These Candied orange peels are easy to make and can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks. You can use it in desserts, fruit pies and fruit cakes etc.
So go ahead, get those peels candied stir up that brownie batter and see magical decadence happen!!
- For the Candied Orange peels:
- Oranges, whole, washed and dried - 2. It is very important to use seriously fresh oranges. Malta works best. Do not use Nagpur orange kind of variety, it will not work.
- For the syrup -
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Sugar, granulated - 1/3 cup (read note)
- Corn syrup(optional)
- For the Dark Chocolate Brownies:
- Butter, room temperature-1/2 cup (113gm)
- Sugar- 1/2 cup (100gm)
- Eggs- 2
- All-purpose flour- 1/2 cup
- Unsweetened cocoa powder- 1/3 cup(40gm)
- Dark chocolate chunks- 100 gms
- Warm milk- 4 tbsp.
- pinch of salt
- Baking powder- 1/4 tsp.
- Vanilla essence- 1 tsp.
- Walnuts roughly chopped- handful, more or less according to liking.
- Candied orange peels- 1/4 cup chopped( reserve some strips to spread on top)
- For the candied Orange peels:
- 1Cut the orange peels into strips of uniform length to help even cooking.
In a large saucepan, bring sufficient water to a boil. Tip the peel into this, the water must cover the peels. Boil for about 5-6 minutes and then drain.
Repeat the process again with fresh water. This helps remove bitterness from the peels. Taste the peel, if it is still bitter, blanch once more. Drain the peels and set aside. Do not over do the boiling or the peel will turn mushy, that will totally kill it.
- 2In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. When it simmers, add the blanched peel, cover and cook on low heat for about half an hour. If you vary the number of oranges, the cooking time will vary too. Keep checking in between, making sure you cover the lid again.
- 3Try not to stir, as it may introduce sugar crystals. Swirl the pan if needed. At the end of the period, the syrup will almost be absorbed and your orange peel will be shiny, translucent and beautiful.
Be careful not to let the peels get burnt. Transfer the peels to a cooling rack to allow any excess syrup to drip and dry. They will be very hot with the syrup, so be careful.
Let the peel cool completely before using it.
The candied peel can be stored in the fridge airtight for 2-3 weeks.
- For the Dark Chocolate Brownies
- 1Double boil the butter and chocolate in a big bowl at low heat until melted. While still warm add the sugar and beat together thoroughly (about 5-10 minutes). Then sieve the cocoa powder into this butter/sugar mixture and again, beat until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat it some more. Now add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition to make sure it's well incorporated.
- 2Slowly sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl a little at a time, mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon. Alternate with adding the warm milk as well and stir. Once everything is incorporated (DO NOT OVER-MIX), fold in the chopped walnuts and chopped candied orange peels and pour the brownie batter into a greased 8x8 inch pan. Sprinkle the reserved candied orange peels and walnut chunks on top.
- 3Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for 25-30 mins. Do not over-bake, a toothpick stuck into the brownies should come out slightly moist, not completely dry. So best to start checking on them at about 20 mins and then give them extra time if need be. Serve warm or cooled, with a cup of tea or coffee or as a yummy dessert served with a big fat dollop of vanilla ice-cream.