Happy birthday to me! Today we are celebrating at Chez CateyLou, because it is my birthday! And what better way to celebrate than with chocolate. I bake all the time (could you tell?) but I wanted to make something special for my birthday. So since it is my birthday and all about me, I decided to make myself Ina Garten’s Brownie Pudding.
I saw this on her show ages ago and made a mental note to try this recipe. However I kept putting it off because I knew it would be dangerous for me. All baked goods are dangerous, but at least cookies have some built in portion control. You can freeze some, give some away, and you know that once you’ve had three, you should probably stop. But a whole pan of molten chocolate brownie cake pudding? Well I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to stop eating it. So that’s why I decided to wait to make it until it was my birthday. Because no one can judge you if you eat an entire dessert if it is your birthday.
And wow. All I have to say about this dessert is wow. This is my favorite thing that I have ever made. EVER. And I might say that a lot, but this time I REALLY mean it. This dessert tastes like warm, gooey brownie batter. It is almost liquid in the center, the edges have a soft, brownie-like texture, and the top has the signature crispy brownie top. It is a combo of the best textures. And the flavor is unreal! So rich and chocolately, so decadent and delicious. Then if you eat it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – well it just might be the best thing that you ever eat.
Anytime there is a molten chocolate cake or chocolate soufflé cake on a dessert menu, I have to order it. This is like a molten chocolate cake on steroids, so what a perfect birthday dessert for me! I cut into this about 15 minutes after it came out of the oven, because I couldn’t resist. If you let it sit a bit longer, it sets up a little bit and isn’t quite as liquidy as pictures show. It tastes delicious either way, so take your pick! Or have it both ways. I stored the leftovers in the fridge, and this is even good cold.
Even if it isn’t your birthday, you should still make this. After all, it is someone’s birthday somewhere, so you should celebrate
Recipe from Ina Garten
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2 quart oval baking dish (9x12x2).
Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick.
Sift the cocoa powder and flour together.
When the egg and sugar mixture is thick, reduce the speed to low and add in the vanilla bean seeds and the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Then pour in the cooled butter and mix until just combined.
Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish, and place it in a larger baking pan. Add hot tap water to the pan, enough to come halfway up the side of the dish. Bake for one hour. The center will be very under-baked.