Brownie Pie with Spun Sugar Nest


Brownie Pie

  • ½ lb (2 sticks ) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup good cocoa powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

Spun Sugar Nests

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • ¼ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 8 tartlet molds

Special Equipment

  • 9 x 12 x 2" oval baking dish
  • electric mixer
  • 3 quart saucepan
  • ice cream scoop


Make the Brownie Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 325º.  Lightly butter a 2 quart ( 9 x 12 x 2) oval baking dish
  2. Melt the butter, set aside to cool
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar on medium high (use paddle attachment for the mixer) for 5-10 minutes until thick and pale yellow. 
Sift together cocoa powder and flour and set aside
  4. When the eggs and sugar mixture is ready, switch mixer to low-speed and add the vanilla seeds and cocoa/flour mixture. 
Mix only until combined. Slowly pour in the cooled butter.  Mix again just until combined
  5. Pour the batter into the oval baking dish and place in a hot water bath so the water comes halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. (You can use a cake tester put in 2" from the side – if it comes out ¾ clean, then it is good. The center will be jiggly)
  6. Allow to cool

Make the Sugar Spun Nests

  1. Grease the insides of 8 tartlet molds. 
In a 3 quart sauce pan, whisk together the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is completely moist
  2. Add the brandy and mix on low until fully incorporated
  3. Heat the sugar for 4½ minutes over medium heat, stirring with wire whisk until the sugar turns clear and caramelizes to light brown. 
Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature for 1 minute


  1. Arrange tartlet pans 3" apart on parchment paper
  2. Coat a soup spoon with the caramelized sugar, and drizzle over the insides of the pans, spiraling around the mold to create a nest. (Note: You will need 5-6 spoons of the sugar mixture to make one nest.) Allow to harden.  Make sure to break away any excess mixture that may land on the top of the molds
  3. To remove from tartlet molds: hold mold in one hand, and turn the tartlet into other hand, ever so gently
  4. The nests can be served immediately or kept in a well-sealed plastic container for up to 2 days
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the Brownie Pie, and then assemble with raspberries and pastry cream