The Optional Ingredient In Ina Garten's Brownie Pudding Everyone Skips

Liqueurs have their place in baking if you know how and when to use them. These boozy elixirs can enhance whatever you're creating, and they can be the trick for setting your baking apart. However, for Ina Garten's brownie pudding recipe, the framboise liqueur prescribed in the recipe is completely optional and often skipped.

If you're considering whether to include it in your recreation, remember that adding liqueur to your baking is one dependable way to go above and beyond for flavor. Still, there is a rule of thumb. When baking with liqueur, pair similar flavors. For example, if you're making a lemon tart, limoncello will intensify the lemon flavor. Or you can swap vanilla extract for a flavored liqueur to change up the flavor profile. Just include the same amount that you would ordinarily use for the ingredient the recipe prescribes.

Garten's choice to add framboise liqueur to her brownie pudding recipe does not align with this rule of thumb. It diverts from the chocolate theme with raspberry flavor, and the liqueur can be left out or substituted with a replacement of your choice.

Brownie Pudding shines without raspberry liqueur

If you're in the mood for something rich and decadent, Ina Garten's brownie pudding fits the bill. It combines all the best parts of a fudgy brownie with the gooey goodness of pudding. Because this recipe is chock full of flavors that pack a powerful punch, Garten's suggestion of adding a tablespoon of framboise liqueur might be a step too far. 

This dish gets most of its flavor from cocoa powder, with notes of vanilla from seeds scraped from a vanilla bean pod. Framboise liqueur, which has a strong raspberry flavor, adds yet another element to this dessert but goes against the favored practice of pairing like flavors.

Based on the comment section of this recipe, Garten's fans don't see the point of adding framboise liqueur. Some say they added it, expecting prominent notes of raspberry, but couldn't taste it. Others replaced it with ingredients like coffee that enhance the deep chocolate flavor and were pleased with the results. Another commenter didn't see a reason for using additional ingredients, stating, "I have made this brownie pudding so many times! It always comes out great...I reduce the sugar and have never included framboise."