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Brownie Espresso Pudding Smash

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Last week was my birthday week. That’s right, I said “birthday week” which, if you are a Leo like me, really means birthday “month“. Having the kids home for a few days was a terrific birthday present. Like many of us, we watched a lot of Olympics –  almost too much. When you find yourself absently humming the Olympic theme then the rest of the fam spontaneously chimes in (we call ourselves the Dodge Family Hummers but please don’t think harmonies nor anything close) before bursting into a few of our fave gymnastic routines (ask me sometime about T’s floor & Alex’s beam work not to mention my womb chair dismount – HILarious), it’s a sure sign that we over-indulged. These outbursts happened often and, while far from pretty, it was pretty damn funny.

As is the normal routine when the kidlings are home, talk quickly turns to baking and what’s on the docket for the wk’nd’s noshing. This weekend’s baking convo revolved around pudding and all the decedent things that could be stirred into it. The flavor and texture combos that were floated ranged from simple to extravagant. Ultimately we agreed on this boozy concoction of Kahlua spiked espresso pudding with rich brownies “smashed” (technically, it’s a stir but I think “smash” sounds sexier than plain ol’ “stir”) into the still-hot custard. We loved these pudds warm and cold. That said, I like the consistency of the cold pudding especially when paired with the firmer texture of the cold brownie pieces. Gold nor Silver nor Bronze was won but the puddings were reward enough for our epic Olympic efforts.

This is another in my Everyday Baker mash- up series of recipes. Here, we are using the Butterscotch Stovetop Pudding (page 387 
in The Everyday Baker) with the espresso flavor swap (page 388) and pairing it with a portion of the brownie recipe below.

Happy end of August and remember that Everyday is a great day for baking!

ps.. Check out the ‘events’ link on the right or click on the states for September classes in New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas!

Abby

Notes from my kitchen:

  • The brownies are stand-alone delicious! They can be made and served the same day but can be baked, cooled completely, covered, and stowed at room temperature for up to 3 days before serving or making the pudding. They can also be frozen up to three months.
  • The pudding is stand-alone yum. It can be made (with our without the brownies) and served the same day and can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving.

For Your Reference: Here are The Everyday Baker  page numbers for the essential techniques you’ll be using in this recipe. Take a look in the book before you start baking.

  • Butterscotch Stovetop Pudding, see page 387.
  • For more about ingredients and equipment, see p. 5 thru 28.
  • For more about measuring and mixing dry ingredients, see p. 32 and p. 570.
  • For more about lining a straight-Sided pan with foil, see p. 135
  • For more about cutting bar cookies, see page 167.
  • For more about making pudding, see page 387.
  • For more about covering pudding with plastic, see page 302.

Brownie Espresso Pudding Smash

Makes 4 to 6 servings /16 brownies.

For the brownies

Nonstick cooking spray or softened butter, for preparing the pan

1 cup (4 1/2 oz./ 128 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. table salt

12 Tbs. (6 oz./170 g) unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces

2/3 cup (2 oz./ 57 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy

1 1/2 cups (10 oz./ 283 g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the pudding

Butterscotch Stovetop Pudding (page 387 
in The Everyday Baker), use the espresso flavor swap listed on page 388.

Make the brownies

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan (I like the straight-sided kind) with foil, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides. Lightly grease the foil.
  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl until well blended. Put the butter in a medium saucepan and set over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is melted, about 2 minutes. Slide the pan off the heat, add the cocoa powder, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the granulated sugar and whisk until blended. Using your fingertip, check the temperature of the batter—it should be warm but not hot. If it’s hot, set the pan aside for a minute or two before continuing with the recipe.
  1. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until just blended. Add the vanilla with the final egg addition. Add the flour mixture and stir with a silicone spatula until just blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and, using a small offset spatula, spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out with only tiny bits of brownie sticking to it, 30 to 33 minutes. Move the pan to a rack and let cool completely, about 3 hours.
  1. When the brownie is completely cool, use the foil edges on two opposite sides of the pan to lift it from the pan. Invert onto a cutting board and carefully peel away the foil. Turn the brownie so it is top side up and, using a long ruler as a guide, cut into 16 squares.

Make the pudding

  1. Very coarsely crumble about six brownies. You’ll have 1 1/2 to 2 loosely packed cups (10 3/4 ozs./ 305 g).
  1. Follow the recipe in The Everyday Baker using the espresso flavor swap, make the pudding through Step #3 adding the brownie crumbles along with the butter and vanilla and gently stirring until butter is melted. Proceed as directed in Step #4.
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