I have a few favourite flavour combinations… lemon and rosemary, lime and chilli, coconut and raspberry, pear and cardamom… but few trump my ultimate favourite: chocolate and orange. When these two flavours- beautiful in their own right- come together, a new, more primal Amy appears… I become Dawn French in that classic ad- that choc-orange explosion is “mine!”
I love the bitterness of the dark chocolate which is balanced with the sweetness of the orange. I love the tart bite of citrus, measured with the smoothness of the creamy cacao. I adore the scent of the fruit which precedes any taste and I relish the lingering richness that the palate is left with.
So, when I saw a recipe for Choc-Orange brownies which had a healthyish makeover, I knew I had to try it out. Now, the original recipe called for GF flour (which I didn’t have any of) so feel free to substitute that if you’re gluten intolerant, but if you’re not, just stick with the wholemeal flour. The original recipe also called for one cup of date syrup, which seemed excessive to me so I cut it down (dramatically) which meant I had to increase the liquid in another way, which I did by adding the orange juice and a splash more almond milk. I also changed the carob chips she originally suggested for walnuts and raisins to add a bit of crunch and flavour variety to these fudgy morsels.
They’re rich, certainly, and you only need a small piece, but they are delicious. I made them for my year 12 students who are coming up to exams and need all the immune and mood boosting benefits that oranges and cacao (and frankly, brownies in any form) provide! They enjoyed them (despite the lack of refined sugar and increased hit of healthy ingredients) and I’m sure you will too!
- Chocolate Orange Brownies
- ¼ cup barely ripe avocado
- ¼ cup Sweet Freedom date syrup
- Juice of 1 and a half blood oranges
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- ⅓ cup unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk (plus some extra, if required-I probably used ½ a cup in total)
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- ¾ cup wholemeal plain flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- ¾ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husks
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- zest of 1 blood orange
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- handful of raisins
- handful of walnuts
- Blend together the avocado, date syrup, vanilla extract, coconut oil, almond milk, flax and coffee.
- Add the flours, cacao, psyllium husks, baking powder and soda and salt.
- Add the juice and zest of the oranges, the extract and the raisins and walnuts.
- If needed, add more almond milk to moisten.
- Bake for 25-30 mins in an 180C oven!
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Let us know if you give them a try.
Recipe adapted from: