Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Brownie Pudding

Usually, when one thinks of a Valentine's Day dessert, one thinks of something decadent and CHOCOLATE. Am I right? You've just had a lovely dinner, and now you want something rich and dark and sinfully delicious, right? Well, how about a luscious brownie pudding? It's an easy throw together and it will conquer ANY chocolate craving. And nothing says I Love You like a home made chocolate dessert. So give this one a try! It's an Ina Garten recipe and I made it exactly as written. It's perfect just as it is (no tweaking needed!). Make this one for your special somebody, serve it with some vanilla ice cream or fresh berries, and I guarantee it'll seal the deal.

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.

If you don't have a vanilla bean, just use a tsp or two of pure vanilla extract.
If you only have large eggs instead of extra large eggs, I'd use 5 instead of 4. Just sayin.

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