Something miraculous is going on here. The recipe uses no block chocolate, just 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, eggs, and plenty of butter, which turns into a rich, intense, delicious pudding with a brownie top and soft bottom. Phyllis Katz of Sudbury, who runs Phyllis B. Katz Designs, a residential design company, makes this dessert from an Ina Garten recipe (Garten, in turn, got it from Anna Pump at Loaves & Fishes). The original recipe, says Katz, called for a vanilla bean, but she uses extract.
Butter (for the dish)
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup premium unsweetened cocoa powder
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Framboise
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled but still liquid
1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-by-11-inch oval ceramic baking dish or other shallow dish with a 6-cup capacity. Set the dish in a roasting pan that is slightly larger. Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil.
2. In a bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder.
3. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 8 minutes or until thick and light in color.
4. With the mixer set on low speed, add the vanilla, Framboise, and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. Slowly add the butter until it is blended.
5. Pour the mixture into the dish. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side of the dish comes out almost clean.
6. Carefully remove the baking dish from the water bath; wipe the bottom dry. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.
Adapted from “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Cookbook’’