I was inspired to begin writing this blog after stumbling across the food blog Orangette. I read the author's words and studied her photography and thought, "I bet I could do that!" At the time, Molly Wizenberg, creator of Orangette, had not only built a loyal readership, she had wooed editors at Simon and Shuster as well as Bon Appetit, had met and married her future husband through the blog, and was on the cusp of becoming a restauranteur with said husband. To say that her blog is a success is a bit of an understatement.
Once I began writing, and shooting all of my early photographs with my trusty iPhone, I saw that not only did blogging NOT come with an immediate rise to fame, it was quite a bit of hard work as well. Although the blog itself has evolved into territory I didn't really anticipate, I still love writing about and taking pictures of food. I'm pretty sure I'll never be a cookbook author or a columnist in Bon Appetit, but as a person who loves to read about, think about, and create homecooked wonderfulness (or something like it) every day, I'm still going to be a food blogger, at least now and then.
So, in honor of the blog that inspired me to start this journey, here are some Orangette brownies, inspired by the French confection of the same name and adapted from several brownie recipes, including one in my trusty Moosewood Cookbook. These brownies feature that lovely, nearly indescribable intersection between orange and chocolate. They aren't too sweet and, based on actual scientific research (and by this I mean a group of my closest friends and their kids), are appealing to both adults and children.
5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 and 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of one orange
1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350. Gently melt the chocolate per package instructions and set aside to cool. Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, reserving the wax paper butter wrappers to grease your 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the vanilla and orange zest. Slowly stir in the flour, stirring just enough to combine. Fold in the almonds. Spread into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve while still warm, with a smile and your loftiest aspirations.