On Saturday night we invited friends over to watch the rugby. Sadly the game was disappointing, or more appropriately, the referee was an idiot and had no business reffing a game of that quality but the company was wonderful. We hadn’t seen these particular friends in a while and it’s always wonderful catching up on news, events and great conversation. My hubby is the King of Roasts in our home – I don’t even attempt them anymore – not because I can’t, but because his are just so good! He made a delicious roast leg of lamb with roast potatoes and juicy carrots. My contribution was a roast veggie couscous, but the true highlight of the evening was my friend’s baked chocolate pudding.
Alex and Brian are a wonderful couple – the Kiwi and the Scotsman – and are always great fun to be around. I met Alex about 7 years ago when she was employed to cover my parental leave and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s one of the world’s beautiful souls. Nothing much seems to phase her and her happy-go-lucky yet rather quiet personality always lights up a room. You know the type of girlfriend where there is never any nonsense? No competition or bitchiness? She’s always just Alex…easy to talk to, great company, always good for a laugh and a few glasses of wine!
As Alex knows me so well and that I’m always trying new dishes, she kindly brought along the recipe for her magnificent creation without even being asked! She was also happy to be “guest contributor” to Chocolate Goose this week so all kudos to Alex for her take on the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe below, which is described as “rich and delicious and so easy to make. The edges bake like a brownie and the insides are like molten chocolate. Your friends will go crazy.” I can’t add much to that description really – it sums it up perfectly.
225g (½ pound or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¾ cup good cocoa powder (Alex used Dutch processed, hence the dark colour and rich flavour)
½ cup all-purpose flour
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 Tbsp framboise liqueur (optional – was left out of this one)
vanilla ice cream for serving
- Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly butter a 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. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
- When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, lower the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise (if using) and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. imx only until combined. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again until just 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.
- The centre will appear very under-baked, but the edges should be crisp and cooked. This dessert is somewhere between a brownie and a pudding but should not be runny in the centre, just a bit gooey/stodgy.
- Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice ceam.
The recipe also states that this dessert can be made up to 3 days in advance. Wrap well, refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.