Chocolate Brownie With Orange
Category: Desserts & Sweets | Blog URL: http://www.thekitchenofoz.com/index.php/2009/12/chocolate-brownie-with-orange/
This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.
Photo: Ozhan Ozturk
If you are lucky enough to live in a place close to your work then no way on earth you would understand the situation I am in. My house is located in Asian side of Istanbul while my job is on the European side and even though the distance between two is not so long in terms of kilometers, it is not the same case in terms of time it takes to commute. Particularly in winter the traffic is so damned congested that sometimes I spent two hours to reach home. You might consider this time as an opportunity to read a book, to reply emails or at least to sleep if you are not the one to drive but unfortunately I am suffering from motion sickness when I try to focus on anything than the stationary cars outside the window.
After such an exhausting trip there is only one thing to sober me up; a piece of quality bittersweet chocolate that releases the chemicals in my brain to clean up the negative residues of last two hours. Indulging these little bars provides us the “good feeling” besides a couple of hundreds calories we would be better off not to take in. So if you frequently seek happiness through chocolate bars or let me use the right word for that; if you are an irrepressible chocoholic, then you’d better get ready to pay its price by putting on some extra pounds preventing you to fit in your favorite jeans.
I tried to figure out the reason behind the pleasurable effects of chocolate afterwards and why we crave chocolate more than other sweet stuff like candies or caramel so it looks like a passion beyond loving sweet things. To my surprise there are extensive academic researches on the matter to disclose the secrets of choco-chemistry.
According to academic research conducted, there are more than three hundred known chemicals within a small piece of chocolate. The most controversial finding was from neuroscience researcher Daniel Piomelli and his coworkers stating that chocolate contains substances that mimic the impacts of marijuana (not at the same level for sure otherwise we would have been buying our daily chocolate dose from choco-dealers operating at the back streets).
According to their research there is a chemical neurotransmitter naturally produced in the brain called anandamide which is also found in chocolate. The interesting part is that this substance activates the same cellular receptors as THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) that causes a person to feel “high”. You may say “if our brain can produce anandamide naturally than what makes the difference with chocolate?” but the thing is that anandamide is produced in the brain and then breakdowns so quickly that you might not have a chance to catch the good mood (if it breakdowns too quickly in your body then you end up with depression). Here comes the difference; there are other two different chemicals in chocolate delaying the natural breakdown of this substance and makes you feel good for some time after gobbling up a few bars.
Mentioning all about the chocolate reminds me of a chewy dense brownie made out of a quality bittersweet chocolate. Till I reach the perfection I tried and retested different recipes with more butter, less butter, more chocolate, less flour and so on. But the one I am going to share is the ultimate one to beat the others. This time I also made a change and combined the bittersweet chocolate with its probably the best accompany; orange. The result was so good that the flavors blended in a perfect harmony without overwhelming each other like the notes of an elegant French perfume. If you did not try any of my recipes up to now, you have to give this one a go since it is literally superb.