In addition to that trip to the Galapagos Islands and learning to juggle, please add this Baked Chocolate Pudding to your Bucket List. I know it doesn’t look like much, and I had such low expectations for it that I didn’t even bother photographing it until I only had 7/8 of it left. But despite its humble appearance, this Baked Chocolate Pudding is one of those desserts that if left sitting on the kitchen counter, you won’t be able to resist eating spoonfuls of it each time you pass by. This dual personality dessert has a top that is crispy and crackly, like the edges of a nearly overbaked brownie while the center is a smooth, creamy, molten chocolate cake. Serving it with fresh raspberries and a scoop of Haagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream completes the trinity of dessert perfection.
Baked Chocolate Pudding
(from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics)
Make 6 servings
My notes are in [ ].
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder [The quality of cocoa powder is very important for this recipe and will determine how rich and chocolatey your dessert will be. I used Penzey’s Natural Cocoa Powder]
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean [I used 1 tablespoon of Nielsen Massey’s Vanilla Bean Paste]
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur (optional) [I don’t know of anyone who has framboise liqueur in their pantry. I served fresh raspberries with with this dessert instead.]
Vanilla ice cream, for serving [Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean is the perfect ice cream accompaniment.]
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 x 12 x 2 inch) oval baking dish.
- Melt the 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. [Make sure to beat the eggs and sugar long enough to incorporate some air into the batter as it will not rise much during baking.]
- Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together in a small bowl, and set aside.
- When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, lower the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds [I used vanilla bean paste], framboise (if using) [I didn’t have any framboise so I served fresh raspberries on the side], 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 [Don’t worry if the batter fills most of the pan as it doesn’t rise much during baking], 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. [Do not skip this step of baking in the water bath. It’s what gives this dessert its contrasting textures of crispy top and gooey, smooth center.].
- Bake for exactly 1 hour [I was nervous about it being underdone, so I baked it for an hour and 5 minutes. It came out the perfect texture for me]. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out three-quarters 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 [and fresh raspberries].