I have to admit, there’s nothing healthyish about these decadent fudgy brownies topped with rich ganache. I don’t think we can count the delicious orange zest in both the brownies and the creamy chocolate topping, and we definitely can’t count the orange liqueur spike, but every now and then life calls for some irresistible decadence.
Orange and chocolate is a really polarizing flavor combination. I have really fond memories of dark chocolate oranges in my Christmas stocking growing up, and it makes me think of holidays and richness. Kirk, by contrast, doesn’t enjoy citrus + chocolate at all. Guess I’ll just have to keep these all to myself.
I’m pretty sure Grand Marnier was the first liqueur I ever tasted. Talk about starting with champagne taste, right? It’s my dad’s particular favorite and I felt so adult the first time he gave me a sip. Now we splurge on a bottle each year and every drop is worth it.
Serious Eats has a fantastic field guide to orange liqueurs, going through the differences between curacao & triple sec and reviewing all sorts of brands. The short version: splurge with Grand Marnier, save with Bols.
This ganache is soft and silky, meaning it can melt quickly out in the sun. Store the brownies in the fridge and serve them cold.
Whether you’re cozied up at home with brownies or out hiking the wilderness, have a fabulous weekend friends!
Orange Liqueur Brownie Bites
Fudgy Orange Brownies
- 1/2 cup butter
- 5 oz. unsweetened chocolate roughly chopped
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 T. orange zest
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/4 t. salt
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup flour
Orange Liqueur Ganache
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 T. orange zest
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate roughly chopped
- 3 T. orange liqueur
- 1 t. vanilla
Baking the Brownies
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat, then add unsweetened chocolate and stir until melted & smooth.
- Whisk sugar, orange zest, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Pour in melted chocolate. Add eggs one by one and whisk briskly until mixture is glossy.
- Fold in flour and mix just until blended. Pour batter into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes; if edges are raised, gently press down so the surface of the brownie is flat. Finish cooling completely out of the pan on a rack.
Making the Ganache Topping
- Bring cream and orange zest to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in orange liqueur and vanilla.
- Refrigerate ganache until it's thickened and spreadable, about 45 minutes.
- Spread ganache over brownies and return to the fridge until cold, about an hour.
- Run a sharp knife under hot water to cut brownies cleanly into squares. Serve chilled and store in the fridge.