When I really want to indulge myself, I whip up a pan of Chocolate Pudding Cake. It’s not the prettiest of desserts for serving to guests (unless you bake it up in ramekins as shown below), it’s usually baked in an 8X8 square baking dish and is a little lumpy on the surface. But this dessert isn’t about looks, it’s all about taste!
A chocolate cake with deep chocolate flavor is hiding a secret below, for it rests on a layer of delicious chocolate-pudding-like fudge at the bottom. Plus, this cake will even do a magic trick for you! When assembling the cake for baking, you place the pudding layer on top! Fascinatingly, this cake inverts itself in the oven. Really its all about the science, and you know I love science :0)
Cooking/baking is all about the science of chemistry. A subject which was actually my least favorite in college. (Funny because it is so intertwined with Geology. I didn’t have a problem with it when applied to mineral and magma compositions, but that’s for another time…) If those teachers just had us cooking real food for our experiments, instead of random chemical compounds, I definitely would have taken more interest in it! In a nutshell, a good amount of chemical leavener (baking powder) causes the cake to rise up above the heavier pudding, and it sinks down to the bottom as the cake makes space for it to go there. It’s also important to use dutch processed cocoa and good quality chocolate chips in the batter. (I go for Ghirardelli or Nestle chips) ‘Dutch processed’ is cocoa that has some if it’s natural acidity neutralized. In taste tests, products made with dutch processed cocoa vs. natural cocoa won almost every time. You should be able to find it in most supermarkets. For this recipe, the chocolate flavors are magnified, and if a poor quality chocolate is used, you will be able to taste it.
It is super important you don’t overbake this cake. The pudding will dry up and you’ll have little to none for eating. After pulling this cake out of the oven, it’s also important to let it rest for at least 10 minutes. The pudding at the bottom needs this time to cool and thicken up a bit. Don’t worry, the cake will still be deliciously warm for serving. This cake simply begs for a scoop of vanilla ice cream to go with it too. I just love the combination of hot cake and cold ice cream in my mouth!
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