This is heaven.  Serious chocolate heaven.  I know I say that a lot – but I REALLY mean it (not that I haven’t before!)  And this photo does not do it justice.  It was taken at the end of the night after one glass of wine too many.  Oh well, unimportant because this will make everyone go nuts.  A cross between a brownie, a cake and a pudding with a hard crispy top that covers a succulent molten brownie, nothing compares.   I served this with Rob’s favorite chocolate sorbet, chocolate chip ice cream, freshly whipped cream and caramelized bananas – to make a decadent chocolate extravaganza.  My absolute favorite.  A few friends came over for this and they really couldn’t get enough.  Really.  Mark said this is crazy!  I mean crazy!  And it is.  This recipe is from Ina Garden’s Back to Basics and I have to tell you that everything she puts in each of her many books is a hit.  Ina writes that this recipe is from Anna Pump – who has a store called Loaves and Fishes and was happy to share it with her.  Make this for company.  Make this for your family. Make it just for you!  YUM.  Delicious.  Enjoy-

brownie pudding (from Ina Gartens Back to Basics – the only change I made was the addition of a little kosher salt):

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus little extra for buttering the dish
4 extra large eggs, room temp
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
seeds from one vanilla bean (scraped)  look at the fruit soup post for instructions and photos to scrape seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly butter a 2 quart oval baking dish (9x12x2 inch).

Melt the 2 sticks of butter and set aside to cool a bit.

With the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium high speed for about 5 -7 minutes until it becomes very thick and light yellow.  While beating, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour and salt and set aside.

Reduce the speed to low (once the eggs are thick and light yellow) and add the vanilla seeds and the dry ingredients – mix until JUST combined.  With the mixer still on low, add the melted (and cooled) butter and again, mix until just incorporated.

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and place it in a larger baking pan or baking sheet.  Fill a pitcher with hot tap water -and carefully pour the water into the baking pan (do this in the oven, on the rack it is easier) so that it come about 1/2 way up the sides of the brownie dish.  This is called a bain marie.

Bake for 55 m to an hour.  A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4’s clean.  The center will seem very under-baked but that’s what makes this a brownie pudding!

Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate chip ice cream, or sorbet.  Have some fun and caramelize some bananas too!

Enjoy –

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