Tahini and Blood Oranges Brownies on International Women’s Day

Firstly, I would like to wish you a happy International Women’s Day! I must admit I felt a sense of joy this morning, as I was exchanging text message greetings with my friends in Croatia. A feeling of sisterhood, if you like! 🙂

This day used to be widely celebrated in Croatia, in the days of communism, so yes, probably all over the former Yugoslavia. The 8 of March. Everybody knew the date, everybody knew what it was. I remember there being shows put on for mums in my primary school, and I remember shopping for presents for my mum and gifting her. One year when I was 7, I had to dress as a peacock and perform in my primary school, in front of all the mums, teachers and other kids. The costume painstakingly sown together by my mum, of course.

The fact that the day was widely celebrated doesn’t, unfortunately, mean there is no discrimination of women in my home country. Croatia is still in large parts a patriarchal society, it pains me to say. Now that we’re a Catholic country, we no longer celebrate the 8th of March. There’s Mother’s Day (in May?), but Women’s Day is not celebrated in the same way.

I remember a particular scene from Ugo Betti’s poignant play ‘Il delitto all’isola delle capre’ (‘The Crime on the Goats’ Island’) where a daughter tells her mother how perfect she thought she was, how strong, standing there proud and tall, with the sun rays in her hair. (It sounds much better in Italian, I promise, though I can’t remember the exact quote now.) And the mother responds by asking whether she ever wondered how she really felt, what she really thought, standing there, proud and tall, with the sun rays in her hair. Mothers are women, too, no? People. Humans. Not defined by this one thing only.

So happy Women’s Day! And if you’re a woman, don’t let anyone anywhere ever tell you that you are inferior to a man because you’re a woman.

Tahini brownies

As soon as I saw tahini brownies over at Joumana’s, I just had to make them! And I did, within minutes of seeing the recipe. This is probably the fastest I’ve ever made a recipe after seeing it! Seen, made, eaten, photographed. A personal record. 😀



While photographing these brownies, I discovered that my under cupboard lights are perfect for food photography, soft and warm. It was like having a mini-studio! These were also the first food photos I shot in the fully manual mode, so a little milestone for me! Previously, I used aperture priority control, but this is much better! That’s my red splash back that you can see in the background in the photo below.

brownies 2

And what were they like? Perfect! Fudgy and crumbly, with a haunting nutty sesame flavour. The recipe calls for orange juice, and I used the juice of blood oranges, which have an ever-so slightly bitter, berry like flavour, less acidic than regular oranges. It worked a treat, and the end result had a fairly complex, bewitching flavour and gorgeously soft and fudgy texture. And did you know they are vegan?!


Tahini & Blood Orange Brownies


SOURCE: Maryline via Joumana

PREPARATION TIME: about 10 – 15 min


CUISINE: Unknown

SERVES: 6 – 8



  • 100 g of good quality dark chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa
  • 150 g of tahini (don’t forget to stir the jar before pouring)
  • 150 g of plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp of baking powder
  • 120 – 150 g of icing sugar (150 makes it fairly sweet, it’s up to you!)
  • 150 g of freshly squeezed juice of blood oranges, around 3 medium but juicy oranges. (Joumana says you can also use a combination of rum and orange juice)
  • Pinch of salt (optional, but I like adding it to cakes)
  • Baking parchment for lining the tin (Joumana recommends it, and I agree. The brownies are very sticky!)



  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C, cut the baking parchment to fit your tin. I used a round, 25 cm tin.
  2. Break the chocolate into small, even pieces and put it in a large pyrex bow. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, or over a bowl  of hot water. Either way, use low heat.
  3. Mix in the tahini and orange juice, add the icing sugar, and combine thoroughly.
  4. Sift in the flour and baking powder over the mixture and fold thoroughly.
  5. Line your baking tin with parchment, and pour the batter, spreading it as evenly as possible with a spatula. Bake the brownies for 20 min. Serve warm or cold, and enjoy!


NOTES: They are gorgeous! Possibly even better than my previous Spedilicious Brownies!

Next time, I’ll use less sugar, as 150 g was a bit too sweet for me. Also, I’ll try using different nut butters. Almond springs to mind! Hey, we can even try using white chocolate instead! How about white chocolate, almond butter and lemon juice (diluted with water), with pistachios? The creative possibilities are endless!


I know there’s not much difference between the these two photos, but I just couldn’t decide which one I prefer. What you think?

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  1. blood orange and tahini sounds such a unique combination!! happy women’s day!


  2. Maninas
    International Women’s day struck a bittersweet chord with me as in my home country in Lebanon there are still a lot of laws that are totally unfair towards women; but at least the struggle and activism has started.
    Love that you liked the recipe enough to make it! We definitely have Maryline to thank!
    Ciao !


    • I hear you on this one. I do hope things in Lebanon will move on, with more freedorm and rights of women.

      I love many of your recipes, but I don’t always have the time or the ingredients at hand to try them. This time I did, and I’m so glad! Yes, we definitely have Maryline to thank. This is a fantastic recipe!


  3. Iako nikad nisam osjetila rodnu diskriminaciju od svojih roditelja pa ni na poslu, jer radim u pretežno ženskoj struci, šokirana sam količinom primitivizma u katoličkom svjetonazoru koji je toliko popularan u lijepoj našoj domovini.
    Ne mogu vjerovati da još uvijek postoje ljudi koji dijele poslove na muške i ženske, da postoje ljudi za koje je žena tek cjelovita osoba kad se uda i rodi.
    Zastrašujuće mi je to.
    Imam osjećaj da je naše društvo zadnjih dvadeset godina posebno nazadovalo po pitanju ženskih prava. Čak se raspravljalo o pravu na abortus što mi je posebno gnusno.
    Kao što sam i u svom postu napisala, trebamo se boriti protiv toga, a iskreno nije me briga hoće me neki tamo primitivci osuditi zato. 🙂

    Ovaj brownie zvuči predobro. Nisam probala ovu kombinaciju sastojaka niti sam ikad jela tahini u slatkoj varijanti. Ovih dana moram napraviti novu turu tahinija pa bi i ovo mogla isprobati. Sad je baš sezona tih crvenih naranči. 🙂


    • Nije li indikativno to sto se zadnjih godina slavi i naglasava dan majki, a ne dan zena? tipicno katolicki svjetonazor.
      Voljela bi misliti da je ovaj jaz samo generacijski, al nazalost cini mi se da nije potpuno.
      Mene nimalo nije briga sto ce razno-razni primitivci misliti o meni u svezi ovog! na kraju krajeva, ne mislim ni ja nimalo dobro o njihovim stavovima!

      Brownie je fantastican! Jako sam se ugodno iznenadila. Da, sezona je crvenih narandzi, al mogu se koristiti i obicne. Osim tahinija, mislim da bi se mogli koristiti i drugi maslaci od orasastih plodova (stavila sam par ideja u ‘Notes’).


  4. Mouse

     /  9 March, 2010

    Mmmm. These brownies look incredibly good. I am definitely going to have to make them. Also, I prefer the second photo but I have no idea why!
    Belated Happy Women’s Day, Maninas!



    • And you darling!
      Do you know I was actually thinking of you when I was making them? I thought you’d like them! Thanks for the photo comment, too. Like I said, I’m learning about my new camera, and there’s loads to learn about photography in general, too. It’s fun, too! 🙂


  5. really delicious, that looks gorgeous, and good for you that you can use your cupboard lights to photograph. sadly i can only photograph in sunlight (I have a small point and shoot) so all the stuff i make at night which i like, it cant be photographed. i love brownies, these look really lovely, you and Joumana are amazing bakers. x shayma
    ps belated happy women’s day! xx


    • Thanks, darling!
      Actually, I’m not that experienced when it comes to baking, but I’ve been doing more recently.


  6. Mouse

     /  10 March, 2010

    Also, I meant to say…that splashback is so pretty! I love the colour – really rich and warm and cheery. I’m waiting until after Easter to make these (am off chocolate for Lent!) but this looks like a perfect way to celebrate my return to chocolate. I esp. like the way it looks so sticky and fudgy in the middle. Mmm.


    • Thanks! I really love the colour, too. You never know how it will look like just judging from a 5 x 5 cm piece of glass, so I’m pleased this worked well. You know how I wanted a red kitchen – I think I even prefer this to red cupboards.

      Gosh – you’re so good! Giving up things for Lent. Not that I’m religious or anything, but I think it is a good exercise of will power. Hopefully the brownies won’t prove too tempting! 😉

      Return to chocolate – that’s such a good title. For something. Don’t know what yet!


  7. These look delectable. Nice work!



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