Monday, November 29, 2010

Brownie Pudding

As it gets closer to Christmas, holiday parties will soon pile up. I remember this time last year when I had needed an item to bring to my office party. During my brief stint in "funemployment," I watched a lot of Food Network and was particularly struck by an episode of Barefoot Contessa. It was when Ina makes brownie pudding for her husband on their anniversary and let me tell you, it looked so incredibly extravagant and delectable I could have licked the screen. My mouth still waters thinking about it. And so I'd like to share the recipe with you, lovely followers (all 18 of you). This will for sure be a hit served up with some vanilla bean ice cream. Its a little more complicated to make, having to beat the mix and bake surrounded by water so it won't cook through, but definitely worth it in the end, TRUST me.

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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