January 29, 2014

molten brownie pudding

Sam and I have been eating better and drinking gobs of water in an effort to not weigh 8 million pounds and with hopes that our hearts will not rebel against us. We are, by no stretch of the imagination, health nuts. We're just trying to be better. And we can certainly tell a difference in our britches and on the scale. 


We have been eating carefully with Super Bowl Sunday in mind where we will throw it all out the window and eat our favorites and stuff our faces before we're back at it on the Monday after. And I cannot decide what we're going to eat because there are so many things I want to indulge in on our one day where we eat with reckless abandon. 

Wings? Ribs? Chocolate pie? A sheet pan of homemade lemon bars? A bowl of queso so big you could get baptized in it? 
{I'm eating "heart healthy" nuts as I type. So not as fun as chocolate pie. Ya know?}

While I wade through my options I keep thinking of Molten Brownie Pudding. It's divine and rich. It's wintry and warm. And it's definitely a splurge. My gosh, it's so delicious. It's one of our favorites. And the texture is a dream. This dessert is baked in a water bath {don't be scared, it's a cinch} which keeps the bottom half of the batter all gooey and molten while the top half of the batter bakes gradually from a light crispy layer with cakey-fudginess in the middle. Descending, delicious, chocolatey layers from top to bottom.

The dessert bakes in a 2" deep, 2-quart baker, and I've fed it to as many as 9-10 people. It's rich so it packs a punch in a modest serving. And of course, I spoon it into a bowl with good quality vanilla ice cream like all warm, chocolate recipes should. Yum, y'all. Yum.

-click here for printable recipe-

{feeds 9-10 people, depending on your people}

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the dish
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature*
or 4 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
2 teaspoons coffee-flavored extract
 *Euna Mae's is a Great Day Farms brand ambassador

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 2qt. oval baker and set aside. Melt the two sticks of butter and set aside to cool while you stir up the rest of the batter.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for about 7-10 minutes. The mixture should get very thick and turn light yellow. Do not shorten this step.  It's important to the texture. While the eggs/sugar are mixing, combine the cocoa powder, cinnamon, and flour in a bowl and whisk together well to combine and to remove any clumps.

When the eggs/sugar are thick and light yellow, turn the speed to low and stir in the vanilla and coffee extracts. Then slowly add the cocoa/flour mixture until just combined, followed by the melted and cooled butter. Stir until just combined; don't overmix.

Pour/spread the brownie batter into the buttered 2qt. baker, and set the baker down into a larger pan. I use an aluminum 9x13 cake pan. Carefully fill the cake pan with the hottest tap water you have until the water comes about halfway up the side of the baker. So you'll have an oval baker filled with brownie batter sitting inside a cake pan filled with water.

Bake for one hour on the nose. Remove carefully from the oven, discard the water, and allow the molten brownie batter to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving with ice cream.