Chances are my grandmother got this recipe off a sugar packet, or off the back of a box of cocoa, or out of the Los Angeles Times (the 'ng' in Angeles pronounced as it would be in bang), but the origins are now lost and it has become Anna Belle Babson's 4 minute brownie pie. Or just a brownie. Or, to M. and F. in Oxford, a Babson (the related verb being to Babsonize). By any name it is the perfect last minute dessert, taking more than 4 but fewer than forty minutes from start to finish and delivering all the fudgy, chocolaty goodness you could want without the mess of melting chocolate.
While perfect plain (and perfecter still with ice cream), this recipe is infinitely adaptable. It does just as well with whole wheat flour as white; nuts are an obvious and welcome addition; my sister has had success adding a dollop of yoghurt to the batter; and if you're having one of those days, why not add a handful of chocolate chips.
Anna Belle Babson's 4 Minute Brownie Pie
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 Tbs. cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour an 8 or 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Andd eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add salt and flour and beat until well combined. Carefully mix in cocoa powder. Beat until batter is beautiful and smooth. Do not worry about over beating this batter. I don't think you can. Add any nuts or chocolate chips or yoghurt or or or at this point.
- Bake for about half an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do be sure that it has cooked all the way through or the center will fall. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.
Delicious served warm with ice cream.
Now go forth and Babsonize!