Sunday, October 18, 2009

A sweet treat for your inner chocoholic

Oh, I've been so bad! It's been a long while since I've posted last! This fall has gotten the better of me, between culinary school, travelling over the weekends, packing and cleaning house. Sigh.

So, to kick off some new postings, I'm going to share one of my new favorite desserts with you!

I've always been a brownie girl. Growing up, I was the designated brownie baker in the family, and I've tried all sorts of recipes: using bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, adding more chocolate. Many are all quite good, but none ever really blow my mind away. You see, I'm a fan of a not-too-sweet, but quite chocolate-y flavor, with a "underdone" consistency, and a thin crisp top. I've come quite close, but never hit the nail on the head (note: there is one more recipe I want to test).

So, when planning the menu for an impromtu dinner party last Sunday, a quick, easy and chocolate-y dessert was in order - a variation on Ina Garten's Brownie Pudding!

I've learned to modify most of Ina's recipes, cutting back on salt and/or butter. Here, I've cut back the sugar, and the baking technique. It results in a less-tooth-hurting sweetness, with the same fudgy goodness in half the time.

(if you don't have a convection oven, don't fret - just watch the pudding. It might take a little longer)

My version of Ina's Brownie Pudding

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
4 large eggs, room temp
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I like Ghiradelli)
1/2 cup flour
Seeds from one vanilla bean

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 2 qt (9x12") oval baking pan. Melt the 2 sticks of butter and set aside to cool. Bring 2 qts water to a boil and remove from heat, set aside.

Beat eggs and sugar on medium-high for 5-10 minutes, until thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift together the cocoa and flour in separate bowl.

When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce speed to low, and add vanilla seeds, then cocoa and flour. Mix just til combined. With mixer on low, slowly pour in cooled butter and mix to just combine.

Pour batter into into prepared dish and place in larger baking pan. Bring boiled water to a boil again, and carefully pour into larger dish, so that it comes halfway up the side of the oval dish, to make a water bath. Bake the pudding in the convection oven for approx 20-30 minutes, when a tester placed in 1 1/2-2" in from side comes out clean. Center will be very underbaked, as the texture is between a brownie and a pudding. Cool and serve with creme anglaise, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.

No comments: