Living the Dream

Last week we went to the U.S. Open. It was a dream of my husband’s and although I like golf I think I could have lived without it. The deal was, however, that we would go into East Hampton the next day and hopefully run into Ina Garten. How could I pass up a deal like that?

The golf tournament was ok. It rained, I was soaked, they played on. Blah, blah, blah. I did however see Tiger pull off a good bogey, Bubba walked by and Michelson played very well on the 9th. It wasn’t a bad ending to the day, but certainly there were better things ahead of us. LIKE SATURDAY IN EAST HAMPTON!

Coincidentally, Ina had posted a blog about if we came to East Hampton, here were her favorite places to go. (are you kidding? it was like an invitation to stop by for dinner!) So there I was, with my list, headed to the land of Ina Garten. I would run into her and she would then realize we were destined to be the best of friends. (I might be stretching the truth just a little bit here and although she never responded, I did send her an email inviting her out to dinner).

The first stop (and the best stop) was a little cheese shop in Sag Harbor. It was called Cavaniola’s Gourmet Cheese. I walked in and fell in love. It was so quaint and I knew if I lived closer, I would be there every day. The girls in the shop were so nice and so helpful. We tasted a couple of cheeses I had never had and of course bought some. I ended up buying some of their gourmet items also, much to the chagrin of my husband’s wallet.

I walked in and fell in love. It was so quaint and I knew if I lived closer, I would be there every day. The girls in the shop were so nice and so helpful. We tasted a couple of cheeses I had never had and of course bought some. I ended up buying some of their gourmet items also, much to the chagrin of my husband’s wallet. And as you might have guessed, I asked if Ina really came to the shop. The girls said she came in all the time, was a sweet and as real as anyone. I thought I would hang out for a week or two and wait for her but my husband really wasn’t keen on that idea, so we had to leave.

As I left, I asked them to say “hi” to Ina for me, and told them she just hadn’t realized we’re best friends yet. I’m sure they think I’m some crazy stalker-ish kind of person. I’m not really. I’m just a wanna-be Barefoot Contessa kind of person hoping to run into one of my favorite idols.

And Ina Garten, I’m still waiting and hoping for your phone call.

Brownie Pudding

Dessert.  Sometimes we all have to have some….and especially if it’s chocolate.  That was my husband and I not too long ago.  We wanted something with chocolate, something gooey and warm…what to have?  We couldn’t decide. But, as luck would have it, I was looking through recipes by one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten, and low and behold there it was.  Brownie pudding.

Is there anyone that doesn’t love a brownie?   A little crust on the top and gooey goodness all the way through.  This was more than that.  The combination between the brownie and pudding was delicious.  Almost like an underdone brownie.  And who hasn’t been there?  (come on, remember when you begged your mom for the bowl or the spoon?)

This will take you back to your childhood.  It’s easy, it’s good and it’s definitely going to take care of that chocolate craving you are having.  I give it a glorified YUM!

Brownie Pudding

Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish (2 sticks)
  • 4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 Tablespoon framboise or chamboard liqueur, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, liqueur (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.

  5. 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 one 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 pudding.

  6. Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

  7. **NOTE** I made mine in ramekins and baked for 40-45 minutes. Great for smaller portions.

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