1tspvanilla bean paste, or the seeds from one vanilla bean. You can also use vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F and butter an 9x12 inch oval baker (2 qt) You can also use an 8x8 baking dish. Make sure you have a larger baking dish or roasting pain handy that your baker will fit into for making a water bath.
Melt the butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. Set aside, and allow it to cool.
In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Whisk or sift it well to get out any lumps in the flour or cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a pair of electric beaters, beat the eggs and the sugar together for 5-10 minutes on medium-high speed. You want the mixture to be very pale yellow and thick. I went for about 7 minutes.
Turn the mixer speed down to low, and slowly add the vanilla bean paste, and then the cocoa powder mixture.
Then, in a steady stream, add the melted butter. When everything is just mixed together, turn off the mixer.
Give the batter one last mix by hand, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish.
Place your water bath pan on your oven rack. Place your baking dish inside it, and then add hot water (from your tap, or heated in a kettle) so that it comes up about halfway up the sides of the brownie baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour. The edges will be firm, but the center will still be soft, and it's best to under-bake rather than over do it with this cake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least partially before serving. Can be served warm, at room temp, or cold, however you like it! It will be the goo-iest and most pudding-like while it's still warm.
Ingredient substitution suggestions ~
in place of the flour you can use almond flour or any nut meal
replace vanilla extract with almond extract, or simply leave it out