Rich and decadent chocolate brownie pudding from Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa).
Mid-May in Austria means the Eismänner arrive. The Eismänner (literally, ice men) or Eisheilige (literally, ice saints) are a series of cold winds that come every year around this time bringing chilly temperatures, rain, and sometimes nighttime frosts. They also make the weather rather temperamental, causing the sky to go from brilliant blue to stormy gray in a matter of moments. It’s frustrating because I never quite know how many layers I’ll need or whether an umbrella or sunglasses will be needed when I head out. And because we were having such nice, warm weather.
At home, mid-May means my little sister’s birthday. I don’t think you’ve met her yet, though I know I’ve mentioned her before. Here we are last summer in West Virginia. I’ve always told people we look nothing alike, but maybe that’s a lie…or maybe the glasses make us look more similar. It’s rare that there are photos of us both wearing our glasses, since that usually only happens when we’re watching a movie.
Anyway, she turned nineteen yesterday. As designated cake baker, I always ask her what sort of cake she’d like for her birthday and the conversation undoubtedly goes as follows:
Me: What kind of cake do you want for your birthday?
Sister: …I don’t know.
And then I end up browsing the web and my cookbooks looking for inspiration. I honestly can’t remember what sort of cakes I’ve made in the past for her, but I know one year when she was turning maybe thirteen, I made owl cupcakes sort of like this.
So in honor of her nineteenth birthday, I made something which she can, you know, pretend to eat from all the way back home. There’s another thing to celebrate, too. This is also my 99th blog post! I know, 100 is a bigger milestone but I already have something planned for Wednesday (post #100) and while I think it’s interesting it’s just not very celebratory. So here at The Wordy Baker, we’re celebrating post #99. Hope you don’t mind, Reader.
And what better way to celebrate and try to forget the horrible, wet weather and virtually bake for my sister’s birthday than with a dish of Baked Brownie Pudding? This pudding is so gooey, chocolate-y, rich, and sweet you will be momentarily transported. It legitimately tastes like brownie batter, but has a nice crispy meringue-like top crust and can be eaten warm, which makes it better than eating brownie batter. The recipe comes from Ina Garten aka Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa aka hostess guru extraordinaire, who clearly knows how to impress.
She’s so dead-on with this recipe that I didn’t even make any changes.
Baked Brownie Pudding
Recipe from Ina Garten. I made a half recipe, but these are the original measurements. My guess is that a whole recipe would serve 8-10, as it’s a very rich and sweet dessert.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 4 eggs (extra large)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup flour
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean, or replace some of the sugar with 1 T vanilla sugar
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Butter a large (2 quart) low baking dish.
Melt the butter (carefully!) and set it aside to cool. Whisk or sift together the cocoa powder and flour in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until very pale yellow, thick, and very much expanded in size, about 5 minutes with an electric mixer on high. Add the cocoa/flour mixture and the vanilla bean seeds. Be sure to turn your electric mixer to low for this, if using. Mix until just combined. Slowly add in the melted butter and again mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Place the prepared baking dish inside a larger pan and fill the larger pan with very hot tap water until it comes halfway up your baking dish. This is called a bain-marie and allows the batter to be cooked more gently than if you were to simply pop it into the oven–similar to using a double boiler.
Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted 2 inches from the side of the pan comes out mostly clean. It is a pudding, so there will probably be some guesswork and a skewer will never come out fully clean. A half recipe baked in a smaller dish will probably take about 40 minutes.
Let cool slightly before serving. Ina suggests letting it cool all the way, but I disagree. The sooner you serve it, the gooier it will be (and the more likely you’ll be to burn your tongue). You can save leftovers and zap them in the microwave for about 10 seconds before serving to reheat.