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Baked Sunday Mornings: Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake

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What. The. Effff… is what I thought when I was putting together this cake batter. Never before had I stared down so confusedly at a cake pan, wondering how the batter in front of me was supposed to bake into a cake. And yet, magically it sure did. If I were naming this bastion of zero-remorse decadence, I’d call it Upside-Down Chocolate Pudding Brownie Cake. I don’t say this lightly– it is the purest expression of chocolate debauchery that I’ve made in a long, long time. (It’s hard to say “ever”, but it’s pretty up there…) And topped with ice cream… let’s just say #sorrynotsorry.

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This cake is actually called Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake, and Baked Occasions celebrates National Chocolate Pudding Day by putting this in our faces. To which I say, FREAKING THANK YOU, guys. This is the very last cake from the book that Baked Sunday Mornings hadn’t made yet, and it’s a great one to end with. (The rest of our recipes are mostly holiday cookies, which are good too, but I feel like it’s been a while since we took a dive into something super chocolatey.)

As I alluded to above, this was no ordinary cake batter. The cake consists of two layers, which seemingly trade places in the oven, which I am fully aware sounds totally ludicrous. The bottom layer seems like it’s going to be the “cake” part; although there are three different mixtures to assemble, none are difficult. You first mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt), then the wet ingredients in a separate bowl (buttermilk, egg yolks, canola oil). For the third mixture, melt butter and chocolate together and add cocoa powder to form a dark cocoa paste, followed by brown sugar and vanilla.

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You then add the wet ingredients to the chocolate/butter/cocoa mixture, followed by the flour mixture. Sounds like cake, right?! But then you kick down some chopped chocolate on top, followed by a thick covering of white and brown sugars mixed with cocoa powder, at which point I was like, “What is going on here??” (This layer looks a lot like a sweetened hot cocoa mix that you would buy in the store, where you can see sugar granules mixed into the cocoa powder.) And finally, you pour in the last element: boiling water mixed with instant espresso powder. So I’m looking at this cake pan with scalding chocolate water on top, utterly baffled. WUT.

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I put the pan in the oven, leaving it in the hands of the Magical Baking Gods, and I was shocked to see it transforming before my eyes, with big patches of batter puffing up throughout the pan. When I took it out, I couldn’t believe it– it was, indeed, a cake.

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Not only was it a cake; it was a cake that resembled Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy ice cream (one of my all-time faves) due to the irregular puffy patches, with dark chocolate and darker chocolate all swirled together. Now, the tricky part is flipping it over for serving. I happily discovered that the bottom of the cake was, in fact, a pudding layer, just like the book says. When I read the recipe intro, I was like, “What do you mean ‘invert the slices when serving so the pudding is on top’?!” I had envisioned a big pile o’ chocolate mess, which wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad thing, but not something I would describe as a “slice”. In reality, it was something in-between, with a brownie-like cake layer on the bottom and a thick, gooey pudding layer on top. I managed to wiggle out a piece, but it worked better after chilling the cake, and the slices re-heat easily.

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The recipe suggests serving this cake with vanilla ice cream, and when I see that written, I generally take it as a “hell yes” imperative. I didn’t have any vanilla on hand, but I did have Ben & Jerry’s Milk & Cookies, another favorite, and it was a perfect combination. Really, I think any flavor that complements chocolate would go well here.

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The only thing I might change next time is trying it with black cocoa powder. I was thisclose to giving it a whirl this time, but since the recipe seemed so uncertain, I decided to go with regular cocoa powder the first time around.

This is a terrific dessert when you’re feeding a small crowd, and pretty much any chocolate lover will go bonkers for it! I suppose you could even invert the whole thing onto a platter very carefully, though I didn’t try that. Anyway, go forth and celebrate National Chocolate Pudding Day with glee by reveling in this Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake— the recipe is located at Baked Sunday Mornings. Take a look at my fellow bakers’ cakes too! 🙂

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© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2017.

 

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4 replies »

  1. I am 100% in agreement with Upside-Down Chocolate Pudding Brownie Cake. Genius.

    I love how well your photos of the pudding layer turned out! I had the hardest time capturing the pudding layer and the cake crumb. Now I wish I hadn’t already eaten it all so that I could have some more with Milk & Cookies Ice Cream….

    Like

    • Thanks, Katrina! 🙂 Ha, that’s funny– I thought my photos were kind of a mess, as either the ice cream or the cake was in focus, but never both! Chocolate is hard to shoot anyway because it’s so dark. I put mine in the freezer because we went out of town, and it kept fine, so you could totally do that and cut a piece to serve with ice cream whenever you feel like it… 😉

      Like

      • Yeah, this dessert might take the “cake” as least photogenic item in Occasions 😉

        Good to know for the next round, thanks. Although I feel like a piece (or 2) of chocolate cake every day….frozen spinach stays frozen, not so much frozen cake!

        Like

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It took 4 nights of Chanukah, but I finally got my hands on some latkes and sufganiyot! Thanks @mikesolomonov for a great event at @jccsf and for sharing your donuts!

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© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. This includes recipes, photos, and all other original content. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dafna Adler and Stellina Sweets with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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