Yesterday I made scrambled eggs for lunch. Nothing wrong with that.
Then I ate my scrambled eggs right out of the pan. I wasn’t super hungry. I didn’t eat standing up at the stove because I was in a hurry. I took my pan to the couch with me, and I ate my scrambled eggs with
the wooden spoon I used to make them a fork.
I did this mostly because I didn’t want to wash a plate. I believe the word for it is…laziness.
I mean. Wait. What? I did it to conserve water! Out of my love for the environment! Washing just my pan used less water than washing my pan and my plate. Right?
How dare you call me lazy!
If we’re going to talk about taking the easy way out….
We might as well talk about this Hot Fudge Pudding Cake.
Actually, if we’re being honest, it’s titled Easiest Hot Fudge Pudding Cake in the book Birthday Cakes by Kathryn Kleinman. I’ve had this book for awhile now, and its recipes have always been yummy. It’s a really wide variety of birthday cake recipes from a lot of different bakers…as the dust jacket says “recipes and memories from celebrated bakers.” My copy is actually lined with post-it notes. In high school, I baked a lot. Shocker, right. I went to an all-girls high school, and birthdays were extremely important to us. You would spend the day lugging your cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and homemade birthday cards from class to class, sharing and eating from 9am to 4pm. Birthdays were pretty much awesome. Anywayyyy, I brought this book to school one day and had all my friends mark which cake they wanted come birthday time. Let’s see what I still have marked…
Mer wanted a Heavenly Angel Food Cake, mainly because I told her I wouldn’t bring her Frying Pan Chocolate Cake, which she actually wanted. Becca wanted Becky’s Birthday Cake, a soft white cake with a pink boiled white frosting. Hayley and Fred Schneider (our AP US History teacher) wanted Grandmothers’ Chocolate Cake. I have a note saying Mer got that cake too. I wonder how many I made her…? Kate got a Princess Cake, a vanilla genoise cake layered with pastry cream and whipped cream and covered in pale green fondant. Ok, for serious? Mer also marked a True Sponge Cake. Meredith!!! This is getting ridic. Kernodle wanted a pretty Pink Elephant Cutout Cake.
Yeah. Like I said, birthdays were a big deal. From the looks of it we had some pretty good ones.
Anyways. What were we talking about? Scrambled eggs? No. This:
Easiest Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. They weren’t joking about the easy part. You make the topping; you melt some chocolate; you whisk some wet ingredients; you add some dry ingredients. Totes not a big deal. For such little time and effort, you get 3 different awesome textures and desserts in one. The very top bakes up a little crunchy, thanks to a sugar and cooca topping. The middle turns into something between a brownie and a chocolate cake…definitely densely chocolatey, but not quite fudgy enough to be called a brownie. And the bottom? Mmmmmm. It gets all gooey and warm and like hot fudge and pudding and cake batter all in one.
This isn’t the prettiest of desserts, but whatever it lacks in looks it more than makes up for in taste. It will cure any chocolate craving. It will cure a long day. It will make you feel ok about being lazy and eating eggs out of the pan. And mostly…it will use up any vanilla ice cream you may have in the freezer. A bowl of this stuff requires ice cream. I prefer vanilla, but Ben likes the new Krazy Kookie Dough (yes that’s how they spell it) flavor from Blue Bell – cake batter ice cream with pastel colored pieces of sugar cookie dough. That flavor may deserve a post of its own. If you live someplace where they don’t have Blue Bell, I could be convinced to ship it to you.
Anyway, I only made one change to the recipe. It calls for instant coffee powder and water…which you pretty much use to make instant coffee. I had some coffee left from earlier in the day, so I used 1 cup of coffee and diluted it with 1/2 cup of water, so it wouldn’t be too strong. It was still a touch too coffee-y for my taste, so I might use a little less coffee next time. It says the recipe is courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated…I didn’t check my Baking Illustrated book, but it might be in there too!
Easiest Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Makes 8 servings (one 8-inch round or square cake)
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups water (or 3/4 cup cold coffee + 3/4 cup water, and no instant coffee powder)
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 TBS unsalted butter
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF with a rack in the middle position. Lightly spray an 8-inch square or round glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2. For topping – If using, stir the instant coffee into the water and set aside to dissolve. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and sugars, breaking up the larger clumps of brown sugar. Stir to blend and set aside.
3. For cake – In a small metal or glass bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, combine the butter, cocoa, and chocolate. Heat until melted, then whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt. Whisk until blended, then whisk in the egg yolk. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to blend. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until incorporated.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly to the sides and corners. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the batter. Pour the coffee mixture gently over the cocoa mixture. It will look kind of like bubbling mud, like this:
Don’t freak out. Bake the cake until puffed, bubbling, and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the dish, about 45 minutes. Don’t overbake! Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let the cake cool for about 25 minutes before serving. Cake will keep, covered and refrigerated…until now, when I’m going to eat some leftovers for dessert.
Have you ever made a recipe like this before? I think sometimes it’s called chocolate cobbler. I thought the steps were kind of strange when I first read the recipe. But I felt bad for judging it once I’d had a taste. Enjoy! Thanks for reading, and happy baking!