We went to Newcastle last weekend for a slightly belated celebration of my birthday. We both skived off work early on Friday afternoon to catch a train that would get us there in plenty of time for dinner,such are our priorities.

I always think that if you want to see England –  proper English England – then you should take a train. While my boyfriend worked, I sat with my nose pressed up against the glass watching as the patchwork of fields and rolling hills flew past. The sky seemed to go on forever. I’d turn to my boyfriend from time to time and excitedly announce that we’d just gone past a flock of tiny sheep.

Every now and then, the train line would curve through somewhere where people lived; a town or a half-built housing estate or, sometimes, just a scattering of houses. In that moment, I had a brief glimpse into someone else’s life.

Blogging is for me a little like that train journey (albeit with fewer tiny sheep); a series of brief glimpses into someone else’s life.


I write this blog mainly for me. It’s a diary – an extension of the LiveJournal that I’ve had for years – with a few pictures and the odd recipe thrown in. I cook and bake what I do because it’s what I feel like eating at any one point in time, not because I think it’s what you should or might want to eat. The blogs that I love to read are like that too, snapshots of life illustrated by what we eat.


Orange and almond brownies

Very vaguely adapted from an original recipe in The Telegraph

Yield: 16 brownies

I know that brownies appear here fairly frequently. I’ve tried to curb the number of recipes for them that I’ve posted in recent months but I am pretty sure that you can never have too many brownies in your life. I’ve made a variation of this recipe time and time again, mainly because my dad once told me that they were his favourite brownie. Whenever I go home, I like to be able to take a tupperware box filled to the brim and this was my most recent offering.  

  • 300g (12 oz) dark chocolate (I used 70%), chopped roughly
  • 175g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) honey
  • eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can use a touch of almond extract if you want to amp up the almond flavour)
  • 30g (just under 1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 50g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • The zest of 1 large orange

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 22cm square tin.
In a bowl over a pan of simmering water, slowly melt the chocolate and butter. Make sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. When melted, remove from the heat, transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.
Add the honey to the chocolate mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one by one and the vanilla and continue to mix until incorporated. Sift the cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the mixture and finally fold in the ground almonds and orange zest.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 20-30 minutes. The brownies should still be moist but should be set in the middle; if you stick a toothpick in, it won’t come out clean but it won’t have any raw batter on it.
Allow the brownie to cool before transferring to a wire rack and cutting into pieces.

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39 Responses to "orange and almond brownies {gluten free}"
  1. Jenny says:

    I completely agree there is never too many brownie recipes! this one looks incredible I love the sound of orange in the batter. Hope you had a great weekend away!

  2. These sound so tasty!! Love this idea!

  3. sophiareal says:

    I fully agree – there is nothing wrong with brownies making a regular occurrence in one’s life – quite the opposite! Love adding orange to brownies, one of my favourite flavour combinations for brownies!

  4. Hope you enjoyed Newcastle (despite the problems) and I totally agree about the snapshots of peoples life thing… I love blogs that gives you an insight into the person, it is always the person I follow rather than the recipes.

  5. DessertForTwo says:

    Whoa–I love that this only has honey instead of sugar! I’ve got to try this–thanks! :)

  6. Ashley says:

    You know I love me some brownies, and these ones are so unique! I can’t wait to try them out.

  7. These brownies sound lovely!!

  8. Erin says:

    Such a great explanation of why I like to blog too.
    And these brownies look so perfectly rich!

  9. bakeyourday says:

    I love this post, so much. You are right – it’s just a journal with some food photos. I love the train analogy too. I hope to visit England for a train ride soon!

  10. Ah, I’m guilty of far too many brownie recipes on my blog too – they’re exactly what I love to make on a quiet Sunday as a last little treat before the working week starts!
    I love a little snapshot into other peoples’ lives and wouldn’t want this blog any other way :-)

  11. So true – you can never have enough brownie recipes! Can’t believe I still haven’t tried orange brownies, these look so tempting I will have to give it a go.

  12. marla says:

    Love that you added orange to these brownies!

  13. sarah kieffer says:

    One day I hope to take a train through England! That sounds lovely. And yes, I agree. I love the tiny glimpses into people’s lives, and see my space the same way (and oh yes, live journal. I had one of those back in the day…) And chocolate + orange! They are perfect together. And I used ‘and’ to start every sentence here. My coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. ;)

  14. Ali | Gimme Some Oven says:

    Riding on the train was one of my favorite parts of being in England! So beautiful and calming.

    Love this glimpse into YOUR life and kitchen! These brownies sound so comforting.

  15. Ashley says:

    Love your stories and very much agree about blogging + recipe creating. Also…no need to justify another brownie recipe…seriously! This combo sounds like my dream.

  16. Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    I love your England tales. I really want to visit again and see more of the countryside. And….I would love to make a pit stop at your apartment for a few of these delicious brownies.

  17. I love the combo of dark chocolate and orange, and these brownies look perfect!

  18. Siobhan says:

    Life can be so fast paced sometimes, a train journey can be just what we need to let the mind rest… Great post and recipe. Thanks

  19. Dana Shultz says:

    These look UHmazing. As in MUST MAKE THEM SOON. Bravo!

  20. Angela says:

    Is this recipe meant to have maple syrup or honey? I just noticed a difference between the method and ingredients!

  21. Lynn Chen says:

    I’ll never tire of brownie recipds.

  22. Kathryn says:

    Ack, sorry! You can use either – both will be absolutely fine. I marginally prefer using honey in this recipe but, honestly, you don’t really taste them that much. Thanks for pointing out the mistake, I will edit the recipe now!

  23. Merry Jennifer Markham says:

    The blogs I love to read are exactly the same – those that offer a glimpse into the life of the person writing the posts. It’s one reason I love reading yours.

  24. nutmeggo0410 says:

    Megan {Country Cleaver}I love reading your blog just for this reason Kathryn – I love hearing about your daily life – not just the “what she felt she needed to write to appease her readers” mumbo jumbo. :) Like these brownies – I never knew I wanted them ’til I saw them here. Gorgeous.

  25. Beth says:

    Ooh, that looks like my perfect brownie – fudgy but not raw, and I bet the addition of orange is gorgeous!

    Going on the train is probably my favourite way to travel (except when it’s the summer and the carriages are full to bursting with hot, stressed families… not fun) – it’s so nice to watch the scenery change along the way :o)

  26. Emilia says:

    I completely agree about in order to see England, you need to take the trains. I travelled around the country by train so much when I was deciding on university. I feel like I didn’t really know the country until I saw the countryside.

    These brownies look delicious as well. Not to mention, I love how you describe food blogs as collections of peoples’ lives through what they eat. Those are my favorite kind of food blogs as well. :)

  27. Jeff Rasmussen says:

    A word for these brownies… decadent! That is exactly what I imagine when I picture a brownie! Fantastic job! One day I’ll get over to Britain and I’ll enjoy the country!

  28. Averie Cooks says:

    Love the looks of these. There’s always room for one more brownie recipe! No flour and tons of chocolate….I bet they are so fudgy and wonderful!

  29. Golubka says:

    Chocolate, almonds and orange – the best combination ever! Your brownies look amazing.

  30. Reading blogs definitely comes with a bit of voyeurism and people-watching…and that’s definitely a large part of the fun! I never know how I feel about chocolate and orange together but these brownies look so fudgy delicious I NEED to try them!

  31. My dad and I traveled through England by train six years ago (six?! can’t believe it’s been that long). Totally agree with you that traveling by train is the way to go. These brownies sound killer, Kathryn.

  32. says:

    i like the way you perceive blogging :) oh and and i like yours brownie too

  33. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Those brownies look amazing – I love the combo of flavors!

  34. Nick Beard says:

    When I lived in Edinburgh (and Beardy Boyfriend was in London) – I used to take the East Coast line all the time. It’s absolutely gorgeous and you’re right – an amazing way to see London!

  35. Kathryn Potter says:

    These brownies, oh my, onto the to bake list they shall go! I love the way you blog, and how you spell your name is pretty cracking too – I am also Kathryn with a K and a y

  36. Kristin says:

    These look delightful! Quick question – I’m wondering how these would work if I tried baking the batter in a mini muffin pan? I’m bringing brownies to bring to a baby shower this weekend, and would love to have pre-sized bites ready without having to cut and serve. Do you think they’d work in a mini muffin pan, and if so, how long would you recommend I bake them and at what temp? Thanks so much!

    • kathryn says:

      Absolutely! I think that sounds like a great idea for a party. I’d probably reduce the heat a little to 325F and check them after about 10 minutes. They might need a little longer but I wouldn’t have thought more than 15 mins tops. Let me know how it works out for you and enjoy the baby shower!

      • Kristin says:

        Thank you so much!! Delayed reply on my end … but they turned out perfectly! Baked for closer to 12-14 mins at the lower temp, and I only filled the mini muffin cups halfway for the perfect baked size. They stayed together even with three transfers (from baking sheet to cooling rack, cooling rack to parchment lined tupperware for driving to the shower, then tupperware to platter), and they were delicious! The hint or orange flavor was gorgeous. Also great from the fridge even after a few days. Thank you!

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