Chocolate orange townies


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I assume you’ve heard of the cronut? I have yet to taste one, but I imagine that each bite is crisp, buttery, melting layers of oily sweetness, while a very quiet alarm bell that you try to ignore warns you that you’re eating a heart attack.

Cronuts are selling out, both in the New York bakery they originated, as well as the London bakeries sharing the trend, and they have given rise to other hybrids including the duffin (doughnut muffin) and the townie (brownie tart).

I have to admit, I hadn't heard of the townie until I had a request to teach one for a private class, by a client more current on baking trends than I was.

Townies were started by Bea's of Bloomsbury, and the recipe remains a closely guarded secret. Having recipe tested my own version of townies using my favourite pastry and brownie recipes combined, I declare them to be wonderful!

Brownies are one of the easiest things you can bake, and this does detract from the simple 'mix, bake, serve' process by adding more steps making pastry and blind baking, but the results are so fantastic that I think it's worth it.

I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with flaky pastry and gooey brownie combined.

So give these a go and you will not only wow your friends with your baking, but also your up to the minute, finger on the baking pulse trendiness.





  • 250g of plain flour
  • 200g of butter, slightly softened, cut into small pieces
  • 100g of icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks


  • 140g of dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 120g of unsalted butter
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 90g of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 orange, zested
For the pastry, heap the flour on the work surface and make a large well in the centre. Place the butter, icing sugar and salt in the well, and cream the three ingredients together with your fingertips
Add the egg yolks and delicately work them in with your fingertips
Bit by bit, draw the flour into the centre and rub the mixture between your fingertips until the dough comes together. Knead 3 or 4 times until completely smooth, then roll into a ball, wrap with clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least 10 minutes
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to 3mm thickness, and cut out rounds slightly larger than the tart tin diameter. Place the rounds into the tart tin, and press the dough gently into the tin. Roll over the edge with a rolling pin to trim the excess pastry. If you have time, rest for 20 minutes in the fridge
Preheat oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4
Prick the pastry bases with a fork, and line with baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 5-10 minutes, making sure that the edges don’t colour too quickly
Remove the paper and baking beans, being careful as they will be hot, and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the base is lightly golden
Meanwhile for the filling, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth
Remove from the heat. Add the sugar, flour and orange zest and stir until well mixed. Then stir in the eggs with the orange zest, and mix until thick and smooth
Pour the filling into the tart shells, and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 140˚C and bake for a further 5-8 minutes, or until flaky on the top and soft in the centre
Leave to cool in the tins before turning them out. Warm in a low oven before serving with whipped cream
Chocolate orange townies
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