Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chocolate Brownie Pudding - Can You Imagine Anything Better?

My youngest daughter was a terrible sleeper from birth, and remained that way for two years. For those of you who do not have children or were blessed with a baby that slept through from the first few weeks, pause to think about the poor tortured souls who for years (yes years) at a time do not get an unbroken night's sleep. Eventually, having tried every other approach known to man, I gave up on worrying about whether she slept and made a deal with her: "If you don't wake up Mummy during the night, you get to have chocolate for breakfast." I know that no parenting book on earth would recommend this (and I'm not sure I am entirely comfortable with it either) but, miracle of miracles, at more than two years old, she slept through the night for the first time. We had three chocolate breakfasts before the pattern was broken and she started sleeping through the night.

All of which helps you understand why this month's Barefoot Bonus recipe challenge was such a hit in our house. We all enjoyed it, but it was the little one who kept coming back for more (and incidentally it reheats well in a low oven - it lasted us three dinners). The pudding was just like a real brownie: underneath was fudgy and rich with the crunchier cake on top. We will definitely make this again (probably for the little one's birthday in a couple of weeks.) It is also quite forgiving - I overfilled my water bath, and some slopped into the pudding on its way into the oven, and it didn't seem to matter too much. The Barefoot Blogger Bonus Recipe is chosen by the blogger who directs the most traffic to the Barefoot Blogger site - congratulations and thanks for the great choice from Tia of Southern Eh.
Brownie Pudding
from "Back to Basics" by Ina Garten

250g unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional (we left this out)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 160C. Lightly butter a 2 litre (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 250g of butter and set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.

When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise, if using, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.


Jennifer said...

We loved this! And yours looks great!

Anonymous said...

Oh man. I didn't sleep for the first 9 months. My mom said she had to sit in a recliner and rock me for 7 hours during the night until my dad got up and she could get some sleep. Sorry you had to go through that. But you know... chocolate breakfast or not... what's healthier? Sleep or chocolate? SLEEP! You're good.

~Delta Whiskey

Debinhawaii said...

It was so dark and rich, I liked it but could only eat a bit at a time. Glad it was a hit at your house. The promise of chocolate for breakfast would get me to sleep through the night, pizza too! ;-)

Kathy said...

I would of loved it if my mom let me eat chocolate for breakfast! My co-workers couldn't stop eating it which is a good thing otherwise I would of ate the whole thing! Your's looks amazing.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Hehe at the bargain you struck! It's the kind of thing I'd probably do but be too scared to tell people about as some people love to tsk tsk. But whatever works I say!

Anonymous said...

I so wish I had made this! Wait, I still have time!

Off to make chocolate goodness!

Your pics look amazing.

;) amy