Can I just brag about my husband for a minute? He is just amazing! It’s like he’s my gifted toddler or something the way I go and on about how awesome he is. I must be the luckiest girl in the world because I hit the husband JACKPOT!
He’s so smart and funny. So caring and generous. And charming to boot! From 88 year old grandmothers, to 2 year old kids, to unsuspecting college girls out enjoying a night on the town with friends ;), he can make anyone feel special. His smile is infectious, his laugh is contagious. He’s got this uncanny knack of cheering me up even when I don’t feel like being cheered up.
He’s an amazingly hard worker and a rock star at his office. Must be all that solid farm work while he was growing up. No days off and no excuses. I could take a lesson from him, as I have been known to be a bit of lazy pants every now and then.
He is my hero, my best friend and the love of my life and he deserves a special treat for his 27th birthday, which he celebrated yesterday!
Once again, Eric’s birthday crept up on us exactly two weeks to the day after mine. He had a really busy day and he needed some cheering up when he got home. This dessert was just the thing. Enter BROWNIE PUDDING!
Eric gave me Ina’s Back to Basics cookbook for our anniversary. I was so excited to dive into it and this is the first recipe I’ve made. It’s so simple and completely decadent. The perfect birthday treat. Crunchy on the top, melty on the bottom, and oh so chocolatey. This would be a great dessert for a dinner party…make it ahead of time, scoop it into bowls top with ice cream and viola! Done!
The only changes I made were swapping out pure vanilla extract for the vanilla bean seeds – the only place around here that sells vanilla beans is the Target. And they are 8 bucks for two. And seeing how this is about as far as you can get from any kind of Foodie capital, and I just can’t see most people paying that kind of money for something in the spice aisle, I can imagine those vanilla beans have been sitting on that shelf for….oh, I don’t know…three or four years. :-p Um, no thanks. Vanilla extract will work just fine. I left out the framboise – didn’t have it on hand, wasn’t going to purchase it. And I topped it off with a little sumptin’ sumptin’ to cut the sweetness. Fan-freakin-tastic. I’m already thinking about eating more tomorrow!
Make this for your special birthday boy!!! He’ll be eternally grateful.
One year ago: Chicken Marsala – Another staple in our house. Perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something fast and healthy!
BROWNIE PUDDING (Recipe Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics)
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temp
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup good cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean (I used a generous splash of pure vanilla extract – about a teaspoon and half)
- 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur (optional – I omitted)
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound 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.
Chocolate and vanilla ice cream is all well and good, but I wanted more. MORE, I tell you! I sure am greedy when it comes to my food. I want it just the way I want it or I will pout and sulk. I wanted raspberry with my chocolate this time – so I whipped up a quick and delicious raspberry sauce to top the pudding and ice cream. Bonus – raspberries were on sale this week! Woo hoo! The tart of the raspberry sauce really helped cut the sweetness of the pudding. Adding this sauce was a match made in heaven. YUM!
FRESH RASPBERRY SAUCE
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 to 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Place raspberries in a medium saucepan and sprinkle with sugar. Combine water and cornstarch and add to raspberry/sugar mixture. Stir in lemon juice. Bring to a boil and simmer until berries are reduced and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
If desired, pulse the sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour through a sieve to strain out the seeds. Cover and store in the refrigerator.