Oh Ina, How I love thee. Let me count the ways….there was your roast chicken, your corn pudding, your corn chowder….I could go on and on…..But now there is this brownie pudding. The last thing I need in my life is brownie pudding. Now its in my life and in my recipe files forever more, and I think holidays are going to include it too. This is an easy reach back recipe. There is only one challenge here. You need the right size and shape pan to bake it in and it goes in a water bath. Which isn’t challenging at all, you just have to make sure you have a dish that will fit the dish you’re baking the brownie pudding in. This is a kitchenware challenge not a baking challenge.
I changed the dish ever so slightly. Ina includes framboise liqueur in the recipe. I’m not one to stock pile liqueurs since we move and have to leave pantry and liquor items so often. So, I used a tablespoon of espresso mixed with a little warm water to dissolve. Plus I hate it when chocolate recipes don’t use any chocolate booster. Chocolate without a bit of espresso or another flavoring agent makes for a flat dessert that doesn’t hit that chocolate craving. This brownie pudding will most definitely hit the chocolate craving. I definitely recommend serving with vanilla ice cream.
The recipe stems from Ina’s Back to Basics cookbook, adapted ever so slightly and lovingly.
2 sticks (half a pound) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
4 large eggs (Ina calls for extra large, but large work for me)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I use Valrhona)
1/2 cup flour
Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean (or use about 1.5 tsp vanilla extract)
1 Tablespoon espresso + 1 Tablespoon water to dissolve (Ina uses framboise liqueur by itself)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9x12x2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Using a hand held mixer (Ina uses her standing mixer with a paddle attachment), beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5-10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow.
Sift flour and cocoa powder together and set aside.
When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, lower the speed to low and add the vanilla bean seeds or extract, the espresso-water mixture, and then the flour and cocoa powder mixture. Mix only until combined. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again until just combined.
Pour brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tapwater to the larger pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour (I did 55 minutes). A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out three quarters 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.