As happens many times while we search for new recipes to try, the title of this one alone was enough to make us declare, “We shall make you, you gorgeous idea!” And lo, it was so. The concept of brownies as a pudding was too much to resist. Now, when they say pudding, I imagined this to be more of a custard-like texture, bordering on a brownie. Does that make sense? None of that boxed creamy stuff here. The most important part of this recipe is cooking time to make it right, and unfortunately, those ovens, they do vary a lot.
Oh, look, another opportunity to get out my fancy schmancy liqueur stuff! This time the recipe calls for a raspberry-flavored one, and I suppose I’ve been squirreling this Chambord away for the dessert Apocalypse or something. Or maybe it was for raspberry margaritas. Yummmm. The liqueur is optional, and it’s not going to flavor this into a raspberry brownie pudding. It just adds a deeper note to the chocolate. (Though I should note here that I could taste the liqueur a little more when trying it cold a few days later. I stored my share in the fridge.)
This is merely whipped eggs and sugar, which needs to get almost to a thickening frosting consistency. Thank goodness for stand mixers, though you can certainly use a handheld one.
Soon enough, after adding in a scraped vanilla bean, sifted cocoa and flour and the liqueur, you get this incredibly rich, pour-able batter.
Kidlet almost attacked for want of that bowl and spoon to lick.
After baking for an hour, just let it cool for a bit and then dig in! This is a really easy recipe and the taste is exceptionally rich and powerfully chocolate. A little ice cream balances out that intensity, or dollop on some whipped cream. Or go for that glass of milk! Kidlet actually stole mine, not that I’m surprised. Oh, and she ate some! Yeah, I know this is chocolate we’re talking about, but it was still out of the box for her.
The only thing that disappointed me was it needed a little less than an hour in my oven. The top got a little too dry, but oddly enough, my child liked the “crunchies” a lot. So just remember that ovens vary. Check yours a little before an hour and pull it out before that hour’s up if necessary. This was still incredible, though, probably the richest chocolate dessert we’ve ever made. Meaning a little goes a long way! I loved the brownie-as-pudding idea and will definitely make this again. In fact, it would make a great dessert for kiddo-ing up. Put some of those gummie worms in in and you’ve got instant worm dirt sundaes. However you serve it, enjoy!
from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook time: about 1 hour Level: Easy Serves: 6-8
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise, if using, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Again, just watch your oven as this bakes to make sure it doesn’t get too cooked.