June 30, 2017

Brownie Pudding

It's my birthday weekend! Yes, I am stretching my birthday into multiple days of forcing my fellow interns into attending various Chicago activities and eating copious amounts of food. I'm still debating if designing a bakery crawl and baking my own birthday cake will give me instant diabetes, but for now I'm sharing one of my personal favorite dessert recipes: brownie pudding. While neither a brownie nor pudding, this gooey, chocolatey concoction is so good my sister has actually attempted to stab me with a fork for more.

If you've followed my blog for any period of time, you'll know I'm a sucker for anything chocolate. From double chocolate shortbread to extra slutty brownies to chocolate lava cake if it has chocolate you'll find me eating it. That's why I love this recipe so much; it is pure chocolate heaven. It's also an amazing balance of textures since it has a crisp, crackly crust (think that thin crunchy layer on top of brownies but extreme) covering an incredibly rich, gooey center. I don't care if you're team fudgy or team cakey brownie; this is an entirely different level.

This recipe isn't anything like your typical brownie batter. You start by whipping eggs and sugar together until they reach the ribbon stage, essentially where they turn pale yellow and fall in thick ribbons when you pull the beaters out. I add a splash of vanilla and a splash of Kahlua for flavor (it is my birthday after all), then gently sift and fold in flour, lots of cocoa powder, and salt. Lastly, a stick of butter is stirred in because you can't have a good dessert without a cow's worth of butter. You can always fold in some chocolate chips, but if you use good cocoa powder you won't need the extra chocolate.

The first time I baked this, I used an 8x8" ceramic pan (glass works too). Big mistake. It baked up perfectly and was presentable right out of the dish (you're not going to want to try and get this out until you eat it). However, my overeager sister was unwilling to share and I faced losing out on my share vs getting chased around the house with a surprisingly sharp fork. I learned my lesson and now bake this in multiple vessels. I have one ceramic baking dish that I love for presenting and photographing, and I also made a second mini one for my sister to have all to herself. As I said, this works perfectly well with an 8x8" pan (or something similar) so it stays gooey in the center and is thick enough to have textural variation. The key to getting those different textures is the water bath; the inside doesn't firm up too much since it doesn't exceed water's boiling point (212F) but the top gets nice and crispy.

Honestly, I'd be perfectly happy if my birthday consisted of some good pizza, a good movie, and my own pan of this brownie pudding. Hopefully I'll get to do some sightseeing, but as long as I get my chocolate I'll be fine. You can make this for whatever occasion calls for a tasty chocolate dish; it can easily be dressed up with some good ice cream and homemade whipped cream or just eat it in your pajamas while binge watching Netflix. I'll probably be doing a little bit of both.

2 Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Kahlua, Optional
1/4 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
Pinch Salt
1 Stick Butter, Melted

Heat oven to 325F and grease an 8x8" baking dish.

Whip the eggs and sugar together for 5-10 minutes or until pale yellow and ribbony. Fold in the vanilla and Kahlua, then sift in the flour, cocoa, and salt. Gradually stir in the butter until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and set in a larger baking pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the 8x8" dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until set.

Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten

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