I know I’ve found a good recipe when I make it at least three times.
The first time is the trial run. The second time means I remember it being good enough to do again. The third time means it is securely a solid dish that is worth not simply enjoying, but sharing it with others.
This brownie pudding has been devoured every time I’ve made it, to a chorus of praise. It’s essentially a big dish of brownie love that is great for a family dessert or potluck. It is baked like a steamed pudding, set in the oven in a pan of water. Don’t be thrown off by how under baked it seems; that’s the desired result. There should be a crisp layer that forms on top, which is fun to break through with a serving spoon.
Beware, it is insanely rich. And gooey. And chocolate perfection. It doesn’t last very long, especially when nestled near a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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 (or optionally, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 x 12 x 2-inch) 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 the mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again until just combined.
Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place 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 toothpick 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.