Tag Archives: orange

Campfire orange brownies made at home

Wood stove 'stufa' orange brownies

Our wood-burning stove – stufa in Italy – earned some huge ‘brownie points’ yesterday when I made a popular camping dessert right here in my living room. Brownies baked in an orange shell – where have these lovelies been all my life? To think of the countless beach fires back in Hawaii…sigh. It makes me sick to realize that campfire orange brownies should’ve been right there on the menu with the s’mores!

Of course you can make life easier by using store-bought brownie mix, but I’ll share my recipe that makes enough batter for 4 extra-large oranges or 6 normal-sized ones.

Recipe (makes 4)

4 very large oranges (mine were approximately 10 ounces each)
2.5 ounces (5 tablespoons) melted butter
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
5/8 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 plus 1/8 cup measurements if you don’t have 5/8th)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
a pinch of baking powder

Combine melted butter and both sugars in a bowl. Add egg and mix well. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Stir just to combine – do not overmix.

Slice 1/2-inch off the tops of the oranges and carefully scoop insides out into a bowl. Take care to remove as much of the pulp and juice as possible otherwise the brownies will end up soggy and wet. I used the back of a spoon to press out the juices.

Orange brownies unbaked

Divide brownie batter equally between the oranges, filling them half way. Place each orange on a double layer of aluminum foil large enough to enclose it. Bring the corners together and scrunch to seal (see first photo). Place oranges next to the embers and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, checking them after 20 minutes to see how they’re doing. Baking time will vary depending on the quantity and heat of the coals.

Orange brownies in foil

Twenty minutes to half an hour should do the trick for large oranges. I’ve made these twice in the wood oven and baking times were different on both occasions. In a kitchen oven (gas), the brownies took 50 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when tops are baked but the insides slightly runny underneath when doing a toothpick test. You might get a couple of exploded ones! Remove from the fire and serve with your ice cream of choice, caramel sauce optional.

Wood stove orange brownies


Orange you glad it’s Friday?

The 1st and the 2nd equals Tacle

Come sunshine or rain, we’re definitely going through a cold spell and therefore stocking up on loads of vitamin C…in the form of orange fruit. I spotted tacle (I have no idea where the accent goes – tahCLEH? TAHcleh?) in the produce aisle and discovered that it’s a hybrid cross between a Monreal clementine and a Tarocco orange. Cultivated in southern Italy, the flesh is very juicy, sweet, and has no seeds.

Tacle sliced

Chocolate chocolate chip biscotti

Chocolate chocolate chip biscotti

It’s the twelfth day in on the reverse Advent calendar cookie project and with no italian cookie yet in sight 😮 this is as good a time as any for the old standby – biscotti. They keep well in an airtight container, don’t need to be frozen, and are just the thing to dip into coffee, hot milk, or dessert wine.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3 large eggs, beaten
grated zest of 1 orange (or 1 tsp. orange water)
juice of half an orange

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the beaten eggs, orange zest, and orange juice. Using your hands, mix and work the dough until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be sticky.

With wet hands, divide dough equally into thirds and shape each into a log (about 2 inches wide) onto a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until firm; remove from oven and lower the heat to 200°F.

When the logs are cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2-inch sections on the diagonal and lay cut-side up on cookie sheet. Return to oven and bake until dry and firm, turning over once during the process.