Gooey Brownie Pudding

I’m clearly in a rut, because I’ve made this THREE TIMES in two months.  Deep chocolate flavor, dense and gooey. It’s set around the edges, but almost molten in the middle. It’s not really a brownie, and not really pudding. I was relieved when Sarah requested a chocolate dessert when she invited us to dinner last month, because I had gooey brownie pudding on the brain.

But within a week, I wanted more. So, I made it again and took it to work, because two friends of mine were moving to different desks across the newsroom (that’s how desperate I was). Unfortunately, I left it covered on the kitchen counter for two days, so it had dried out a bit. It was still delicious. No one knew the difference.

I promised my mom I’d make it for her. My parents were here last weekend, so guess what we had for dessert?

Aside from being addictive, this is not overly sweet. I reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe by two-thirds a cup, and didn’t miss it. Vanilla ice cream is essential on the side.

I must move on.  It’s looking more and more like spring, so it’s time to transition into lighter desserts. That’s what I’m telling myself. We’ll see.

Gooey Chocolate Pudding
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup good cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, or framboise liqueur (optional)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart (9x12x2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the butter and allow it to cool.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high for 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture should be very thick and light yellow. Sift the cocoa powder and flour together in a different bowl. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife, slice open the vanilla bean lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, liqueur (if using), and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.

Pour the batter into the buttered dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough hot tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish. Bake for exactly one hour. A toothpick or knife inserted 2 inches from the side should come out three-quarters clean. The center will appear very under-baked, but it’s supposed to be that way. This dessert is part brownie, part pudding.

Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Serves 6


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