“Close your eyes the next time you eat a piece of chocolate cake; did it really taste like chocolate or did the fudgey-looking icing just trick you into thinking it would taste like chocolate? The best chocolate desserts have a depth of flavor that hits you in a few ways—both sweet and bitter, with a winey complexity—and it’s my goal to bring out that complexity to reveal the true essence of chocolate…”
Not quite a brownie, not quite a pudding, not quite a soufflé—just a beautifully rich and decadent chocolate filled dessert!
The top of this treat is thin and crisp, but once you stick your fork in, oozing molten chocolate amazingness seeps out!
Check out the lovely mound of sifted cocoa powder/flour!
Everything that I have made from Ina Garten’s Back To Basics cookbook has turned out exquisite. She really focuses on cooking with ingredients that bring out the essence of the natural flavor in food. It is all about taking ordinary, on-hand ingredients and cooking or pairing them in a way that really brings out the taste! She is very aware of weaving her menus together and adding that extra “umph” to her dishes by finishing them off with a sprinkle of course sea salt, a splash of lemon juice, or a gorgeous herb…!
I made this brownie pudding dessert as a gift for my friend Natasha’s going away party. She is leaving to study in Scotland for the YEAR! Natasha is the QUEEN of chocolate/dessert/sweets, so I saw this as a prime opportunity to make a rich dessert to send her off! I just hope the Scots will be able to accommodate her sweet tooth!
Ina bakes her brownie pudding in an oval shaped dish, however the co-op where I live only had a rectangular shape pan. Despite the change from circular to square, this baby came out just perfect!
This dessert is baked in a water bath. A water bath is typically used when baking delicate foods—especially dairy and egg-based custards, soufflés and cheesecakes—as they can curdle and overcook very easily. A water bath acts as a way to insulate whatever you are cooking to maintain a smooth and even texture. This way, the oven will cook the center of the cake/custard/etc. without overcooking the sides. Genius!
Warning: Do not leave me alone with a big pan of chocolate dessert, or I might just eat it all and you will have to retrieve me from the doctor for having an overdose of goodness! But seriously, I have very little self-control these days...
Brownie Pudding Amazingness
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics
½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¾ cup good cocoa powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Optional: 1 Tablespoon of framboise liqueur (or any liqueur of your choice; espresso would be great, too!)
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9x12x2 inch) oval baking dish (I used a 9x13x2 inch rectangular and it came out great!)
2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar until very thick and light yellow (Ina uses an electric mixer with paddle attachment and beats for 5-10 minutes, but I utilized my super arm strength and used a hand whisk instead!).
4. Sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
5. When the egg/sugar mixture is ready, add in the vanilla bean seeds, the liqueur (if using), and the cocoa powder/flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
6. Slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
7. 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 sides of the dish.
8. Bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out ¾ clean. The center will appear very under-baked.
9. Allow to cool and serve with sifted powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, raspberries, or on its own. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!