This week was Ratanga week. My friend Fred took us down for the day and we had a blast.
But a good Sunday out requires special Sunday snacks. I decided to make orange brownies. Yum yum.
Chocolate cake mix
2 Eggs (or as per directed by your mix)
1 cup of oil
1. The first thing I did was scavenge the shelves of my flat for cake mix. I usually have a pack or 2 lying around; somehow baking relaxes me. The brand I use is cheap but makes incredibly moist chocolate cake.
The mix asks for a cup of oil, 2 eggs and a cup of water.
This recipe is for my special brownies. If you want yours plain or don’t know what I am talking about, you can skip straight ahead to step 4.
2. I didn’t grind the material. I just opened the buds up a bit with my fingers to make sure the oil could soak into all the books and crannies. On that note, I use about a week’s supply of material for about 2 dozen brownies.
Let the material soak in the oil for 3 hours on the lowest possible heat. If you have a slow cooker, you can do that. I just don’t have one and don’t know anyone (aside from my parents) that does.
It smells quite strong, so you can boil a pot of coffee next to it to mask the smell.
3. After 3 hours and sufficient cooling time pour the oil through a strainer to get the large clumps of material out. A few small bits won’t be noticed in brownies, so don’t stress too much.
4. From here on out it’s pretty simple. You just follow the directions on the back of the cake mix. Use the special oil instead and also replace the liquid (usually water, but some mixes ask for coffee or milk) with orange juice. You can squeeze oranges, but who has time for that right? So I use store bought.
5. I like to make my cake into brownies so I bake it in a large rectangular dish. I also like to have a nice flat top, so I wrap a few wet rags around the pan as it bakes. Keeping the sides cool for longer (that’s what the rags are for) keeps the cake from baking with a dome in the centre. Don’t ask me why, but it works.
6. Bake at 180 Celsius for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick or poker comes out clean.
Let cool and then cut (or eat warm if you can’t wait).
I decorated the cake with a few gold sprinkles and some printed rice paper I had lying around.
They smelled absolutely delicious and tasted even better. They have a really subtle, fresh orange flavor and the cake is juicy and moist. The brownies were a real hit for Ratanga day.