so long january and a recipe: chocolate brownie pudding

January is no more, and I am stunned by how quickly those 30 days passed by. The first month of the year is probably my least favorite of all twelve, but I can’t quite put my finger on why that is. It might be the boring January food magazine issues, with uninspiring covers focusing on post-holiday diets and low calorie foods. Perhaps it’s because of the cold that seems to set in here in northern Florida during that month. If weather is the reason why, then I should have loved this past January — out of all the days Mother Nature had to play with, only two saw temperatures drop below a high of 60 degrees. The rest of the time, we enjoyed the warmth of highs in the 60s to the low 80s, and I had to repeatedly explain to my puzzled children why they weren’t allowed to go swimming in our community’s pool yet.

Every where I look, I see trees trying to bloom, confused by the warm weather we’ve had. The young maple trees that line our side street have newborn leaves popping out on their spindly branches, and when I got in my minivan at the airport after arriving home from Birmingham on Sunday, I found my van covered in the powdery yellow pollen from the oak tree branches overhanging the lot. And, for some reason, the Bradford pears seem to be the most confused, having just lost their leaves for the winter.

My weekend in Birmingham this past weekend was a little cold weather escape for me. I was able to wear sweaters and my new puffy white coat all weekend. I was even surprised by ice on my windshield on Sunday morning, when I got in the rental car to head to the airport. I could have done without the ice, but the crisp weather was a nice change from what I’m used to.

This coming weekend, I’m in for an even bigger taste of cold weather when I head up to New York City for a medical conference. I won’t mind the 40 degree weather one bit since I’m going to one of my favorite places on earth. Born and raised in the south, I somehow manage to feel like a New Yorker every time I visit – and the feeling persists for months after I return home. My love for the Big Apple is so apparent to my husband that Sam has even asked me a couple of times whether we should consider moving up there.

Don’t worry, Mom. We’re not moving anytime soon.

None of this really relates to this recipe for Chocolate Brownie Pudding except for the fact that the dessert will certainly warm you up on a cold night. Plus, it’s so darn good that I just couldn’t keep it from you any longer. I tweaked the recipe just a bit from a recipe from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics – a great cookbook if you don’t own it already.

Now, in full disclosure, my non-chocolate loving husband was not overly impressed by this dish. It was just too rich and, well, chocolatey, for him.  Which means that it is the best dessert ever to serve to someone who adores chocolate. Like me.

When you take the casserole dish out of the oven after it bakes for an hour, the top of the surface is flat and smooth, hiding the gooey goodness just below the surface. Cracking the top by pressing gently with the back of a spoon reveals the glossy inside, showing just a hint of the molten chocolate below. The dessert — not quite a brownie, and not quite a pudding, but a nice blend of the two — has a texture that makes you think it’s not been cooked long enough. A couple of spoonfuls of this, either warm from the oven or warmed in the microwave, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream will satisfy every dessert craving you didn’t even know you had.

Unless you’re like my husband.

Don’t be like him.

Chocolate Brownie Pudding

After baking, the top will look fully cooked but the center will appear to be underbaked, and this is to be expected. The texture should be like a cross between an brownie and a pudding. Serve this by the spoonful - or spoonfuls - with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream on top.


2 sticks unsalted butter
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 2 quart baking dish. Melt the 2 sticks of butter and set aside to cool.

With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar on medium high speed until very thick and pale yellow, about 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the cocoa and flour and set aside.

When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, decrease the speed to low and add vanilla extract, Grand Marnier, and the cocoa and flour mixture. Mix until just combined. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour in cooled butter and mix again until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and place it in a larger baking pan or roasting pan. Add hot tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool some; serve warm or at room temperature.

Minimally tweaked from Ina Garten's recipe in Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics, 2008.

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68 Responses to “so long january and a recipe: chocolate brownie pudding”

  1. 1
    Kathryn — February 1, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    I used to make something similar whenever friends came for dinner – it works so well with a scoop of ice cream and, sometimes, a dash of Baileys. I haven’t made it for far too long so thank you for the reminder!

  2. 2
    Mal @ The Chic Geek — February 1, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    yum! This looks so amazing

  3. 3
    Krisla — February 2, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    This looks delicious! I just discovered you on Foodgawker. I love that you are a practicing physician while maintaining such a fabulous blog. I’m in college and will be apply to med school soon and my newly developed food blog is a great creative outlet for me. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 4
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — February 2, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    This talk of “too much chocolate” is ridiculous! There’s no such thing 😉 Love this recipe and I now need to get my hands on that book!

  5. 5
    chinmayie @ love food eat — February 2, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

    Is there anything like too chocolaty 😉

  6. 6
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — February 2, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    This pudding looks absolutely fabulous to me. I have to make it ASAP! And, conveniently, I already have vanilla ice cream in the freezer. 🙂

  7. 7
    Paula — February 2, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

    I’d say that you were really lucky to have a husband who doesn’t like chocolate…just means that there is always lots of leftovers for those who do! Seriously, this brownie/pudding looks like it would go down really smooth and easy.

    Have a wonderful time when you get to NYC!

  8. 8
    Mercedes — February 2, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    This looks so ooey gooey delicious! And I am just so happy to have found your site. You have such wonderful photos and recipes I can’t wait to browse more!

    • 8.1
      Merry-Jennifer — February 3, 2012 @ 7:42 am

      I’m glad you found the site too, Mercedes. Welcome!

  9. 9
    Ilke — February 2, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    I am on diet and this one is a torture. Just found it on Pinterest then followed it all the way here.Gorgeous dessert and great site. Glad I found you!

  10. 10
    Jo — February 2, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious. Would love for you to share your gorgeous pictures with us at

  11. 11
    Sonia Quinones — February 4, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

    Couldn’t resist. Just made it and set it in the oven. This will be the long hour ever… 😀 Thanks for posting this yummy looking recipe!

  12. 12
    Tessa @ Handle the Heat — February 6, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    Move over, Mr. Merry Gourmet – I want to share!! There is no such things as too much chocolate. This looks right up my alley.

  13. 13
    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — February 9, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    I’ve made this before and it was AH-mazing! Yours looks incredible! 😀

  14. 14
    Stephanie — February 12, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

    OMG I just made this and I think I am in love!!!!

  15. 15
    Denise @ Creative Kitchen — February 21, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    Oh wow…this looks and sounds amazing!! I can’t wait for the opportunity to visit NYC! Can you believe I’ve never been? It’s really only been in the last 5 years I’ve yearned to visit…probably the foodie in me. 🙂

    It’ll be great to see you again at FBF!! Can you believe it’s been a year?

  16. 16
    Bettina Adragna — March 8, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

    Looks delicious! But, I wonder – if it’s supposed to look like it’s undercooked, how do you know when it’s done? I’m concerned since it has eggs in it. Do you just use a food thermometer to test the inside?

    • 16.1
      Merry-Jennifer — March 9, 2012 @ 8:04 am

      After an hour in the oven, the egg is definitely cooked thoroughly. But, if you’re worried, you can use a thermometer to check — aim for 160 degrees for egg doneness.

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  18. 17
    Christine — September 13, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    WOW! We must be dopplegangers or something, because my boyfriend, who is also Sam, doesn’t have even the tiniest sweet tooth and I always have to have something sweet after dinner. This. Looks. Perfect. And for just two of us it will last a while! Especially if he doesn’t eat any 🙂

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  20. 18
    Sabrina — October 10, 2012 @ 12:36 am

    I followed the recipe but mine was not gooey. It was like a cake. 🙁 how should I change to get the gooey consistency? Cook for less time?

    • 18.1
      Merry-Jennifer — October 10, 2012 @ 10:10 am

      Sabrina — It’s hard for me to tell without being in your kitchen with you, but I’d guess that it needed to cook for less time, or perhaps your oven is running on the hot side?

  21. 19
    Brandy — October 30, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    This is my favorite Ina Garten recipe! I just love her, thanks for reminding me of it, it has been years since I’ve made this. I know what’s for dessert tonight 🙂

  22. 20
    Marie — November 5, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

    This looks very much like a dessert I enjoyed on a recent cruise. It was called Warm Chocolate Melting Cake and was richly delicious! I will definitely try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  23. 21
    Amber — November 12, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    How important is the Grand Marnier? I have all the other ingredients on hand… can i use anything else instead?

    • 21.1
      Merry-Jennifer — November 12, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

      You can omit it entirely, or, if you prefer, you could add the same amount of bourbon or Kahlua.

  24. 22
    Mossy — November 12, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    So I made it. It looked DIVINE! Pushed the serving spoon through the crusty top only to find something akin to hot fudge sauce underneath. WHAT?? WHYYYYYY? All I can think is that my baking dish was way too deep? Help someone, anyone?? Oh and we ate it anyway. As hot fudge on our ice cream. It was lovely

  25. 23
    elizabeth — November 19, 2012 @ 8:48 am

    I used to work at a tearoom, and we served this at room temp with whipped cream, but we called it Baked Fudge. Thank you for posting, and reminding me how dee-lish this was/is! (We also added chopped pecans to ours, but it is completely optional)

  26. 24
    kylie — November 24, 2012 @ 12:25 am

    looks delish… but could you lower the sugar content do you think? might just have to give it a try 🙂

  27. 25
    Jess — November 24, 2012 @ 4:37 am

    How many grams is 2 sticks of butter? Sorry in New Zealand we buy it by the kilo:) thanks!

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  29. 26
    Melissa — January 15, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    What are your thoughts on doubling this for a dinner party? Baking dish, baking time, or just make two?

    • 26.1
      Merry-Jennifer — January 15, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

      Hmm…I’ve not tried it, but I see no reason not to. I’d probably increase baking time by some amount (maybe 15 minutes?) or to an internal temperature of around 210 degrees. I’ve read that this is the “done” temperature for cakes, but I’m not certain it would hold true here. Worth a try, maybe?

  30. 27
    Melissa — January 15, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

    Okay, I’m going to go for it! Trying it tonight–thank you for the quick response!!!

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  32. 28
    Freda — January 31, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    This sounds alot like one of my favorite desserts at a local restaurant they call theirs “chocolate stuff” and if this turns out to taste the same I may never need to buy theirs again…thanks I’ve so got to try this. Question: I dont drink alcohol and I read on google that a substitute for the Grand Marnier could even be orange juice…what do u think?

    • 28.1
      Merry-Jennifer — January 31, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

      You could certainly try it – or, you could omit the Grand Marnier entirely and not substitute anything.

  33. 29
    Abby — February 23, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    Can I substitute flaxseed for eggs?

    • 29.1
      Merry-Jennifer — February 23, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

      I have no idea. If you try it and it works, let me know.

  34. 30
    debra — March 14, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

    I just made this. I used cream de cocoa rather than grand marnier. This is a fabulous dessert! thank you

  35. 31
    Erin — May 20, 2013 @ 12:34 am

    I made two batches. Delicious! One with khalua and one with Grand Marnier. The latter was favored. I found that an hour was much too long of a cooking time as well. I suggest cutting it back a bit. The second step also proved to be crucial. Don’t be afraid to go longer than five minutes. The beating of the sugar and eggs really does make a difference.

    • 31.1
      Merry-Jennifer — May 20, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

      Erin – Thank you for your comments about the recipe. It’s quite valuable hearing from people who’ve made it. I would guess that the cooking time might vary depending on the type of oven one has, or how hot (or cool) it runs. Thanks!

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  37. 32
    Sia — July 9, 2013 @ 2:50 am

    This is oh so good! I’m planning to make individual ones for a birthday party, so is it possible if I use muffin tins (or silicon cupcake moulds, they look so pretty!)? I noticed that it was sticking a bit to my baking pan, so is there anything I can do to not have it stick? Please let me know! 😀

    • 32.1
      Merry-Jennifer — July 9, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

      You could certainly try to use muffin tins — you may have to decrease the baking time a bit, so keep a close eye on it. Either use a baking spray or butter and flour the pan very well.

  38. 33
    Kathy — July 12, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    I found this on Pinterest yesterday and it looked delicious and easy to make. I made it for dessert this evening and it is HEAVENLY!!!! So glad to have found you through Pinterest, I plan on looking through your other recipes and trying a few.

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  40. 34
    JoLynn — July 19, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

    It says to beat the sugar and eggs over medium high HEAT. I think that should be AT MEDIUM HIGH SPEED.

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  43. 35
    Reva — September 11, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    Does this need to be refrigerated after cooking?

    • 35.1
      Merry-Jennifer — September 12, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

      After it’s cool, you can certainly refrigerate it. I did.

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  47. 36
    Brigitte — March 25, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

    I finally caved and made baked this today, and I do not regret it! My dad’s been begging me to make this recipe for a while, but I’d been procrastinating because I had an excess of cream cheese and sour cream in the fridge. I ended up altering the recipe a smidge, though… Let’s just say that this bakes really well over a cheesecake!

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  49. 37
    Jennifer Schmidt — September 14, 2014 @ 9:59 pm

    How easily does this recipe double? Thanks!! Looks delicious!

    • 37.1
      Merry-Jennifer — September 17, 2014 @ 7:01 am

      I’ve never doubled it, so I can’t say for sure. If you try it, please let me know how it works out for you!

  50. 38
    Kylie — October 13, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

    I have been looking at this recipe for months, and finally decided to give in to my cravings…. best decision ever! I didn’t have Grand Marnier, so I put a teaspoon of almond extract in instead, and it was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  51. 39
    Kathleen Friedman — February 25, 2015 @ 4:06 pm

    This was fun to make.  I would probably leave out a cup of sugar, though.  I found it to be cloyingly sweet.  Also, I wonder if I needed to bake mine longer than an hour.  It tasted a bit like ‘batter’ inside???  I also used Triple Sec instead of Grand Marnier.  Kahlua or Creme de Cocoa would be good, too.  Or, just plain brandy! 

  52. 40
    Kathleen Friedman — February 25, 2015 @ 4:11 pm

    One other tip, make sure you heat the water bath to almost boiling before putting into oven.  That is a tip I learned a long time ago.  Don’t burn yourself!

  53. 41
    Kay — October 13, 2016 @ 8:41 pm

    What can I use in place of the alcohol, don’t like alcohol?

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