From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a variation of a dessert that most people call a hot fudge cake. It's really an old-fashioned pudding cake that makes it's own fudge sauce as it bakes. The first of these cakes was created in the early 1920's by Emelyn Hartridge while she was a student at Vassar College in New York. Fudge had just become popular and she wanted to develop a recipe that would would blend fudge with cake. When she was satisfied with her efforts, she presented her new fudge cake at an auction where she sold 40 pounds of it to students and friends of the college. The idea caught on and history was writ. The cake consists of two layers, the first of which is a fairly standard cake batter. The batter is covered with a pudding layer that puffs and bubbles, lava-like, as the cake bakes. That molten pudding sinks as the cake cools and the cake rises to the top, completely reversing the order of the original layers. This is an incredibly rich, intensely chocolate cake that should be served warm and in small portions. Rich or not, it still begs to be topped with a dollop of cream. When the cake first comes from the oven the pudding layer is sauce-like, but as it cools, it firms and becomes more like a very soft fudge. The version of the cake I'm featuring today was developed by Aida Mollenkamp for CHOW. She adds coffee to the standard ingredient mix and makes a lovely mocha flavored cake, that I suspect chocolate lovers will really enjoy. The flavors here are intense and this cake definitely falls into the death by chocolate category. Here's the recipe.
Mocha Pudding Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Aida Mollenkamp CHOW.com
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided use
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided use
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1) Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 8-inch square baking dish with butter and set aside.
2) Combine flour, 3/4 cup of the cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to break up any lumps.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, milk, butter, egg, and vanilla until evenly combined and smooth.
4) Add flour mixture to milk mixture and whisk until just combined (some lumps will remain).
5) Transfer batter to prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Combine remaining 1/4 cup cocoa, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a small bowl, stirring until combined. Sprinkle mixture over batter. Pour coffee over batter, do not stir, and place in oven.
6) Bake until cake is bubbling, puffed, and set at the edges but still a bit loose in middle, about 25 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
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