Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Magic. It's really the only word that can describe this dessert. This cake defies the laws of science and common sense. How can two separate layers of batter on the bottom and liquid on top switch places to create a sinfully decadent chocolate cake on top of a pool of a silky smooth fudge sauce on the bottom? The cake batter looks perfectly normal as it's poured into the baking dish, though it starts to look funky after it's covered with cocoa and sugar. But then... there's a definite moment of hesitation as you hold the measuring cup filled with dilute coffee in your hand. Am I really going to do this? Does the recipe really say to pour this stuff on top of the batter? Common sense tells you no. After double checking the recipe, you do as it says and bite your lip as you slide the sludgy mess into the oven. But don't worry, the oven is a magical place wondrous things happen.

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They say baking is a science because it requires the precision of a laboratory experiment and the results are predictable, just like the chemical reactions that take place. But, I don't know how to explain this cake. The batter is on the bottom, sugar is in the middle, and liquid is on top. Then 45 minutes later, it jiggles precariously as it comes out of the oven. It doesn't look like much at all but when you finally dig in, you see there's a crunchy, sugary crust on top of a dense, rich chocolatey cake, and on the bottom, oh the bottom, is a luscious fudge sauce. How do these layers switch places? I don't know. Doesn't heavier stuff sink? Shouldn't the batter stay on the bottom? I don't know... All I know is this recipe is one of the most amazing chocolate desserts I've had in a long, long time. Best of all it's ridiculously easy to make and totally accessible for every home cook. It's something you can eat in the nook for breakfast after early morning baking, like I did, serve after an elegant dinner, or reheat in the microwave for a resolution-breaking midnight snack. It uses ingredients that everyone in their pantry and doesn't require any fancy equipment or gadgets. All in all, this is a dessert that captures the essence of Nook & Pantry.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

2 tsp instant coffee
1 1/2 C water (or mix 1 cup of cold leftover coffee with 1/2 C water)
2/3 C Dutch-processed cocoa
1/3 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 C AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 C whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position. Spray a 8 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the instant coffee into the water and set aside. In a bowl, stir together 1/3 C of the cocoa powder, the brown sugar, and 1/3 C of the granulated sugar. Break up any large clumps of the brown sugar and set aside.

Melt the butter in a heat proof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water or in the microwave. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth (heat it in the microwave using low power if the chocolate does not all melt). Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Add the remaining granulated sugar, vanilla, milk, and egg to the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, spread it out, and smooth the top. Sprinkle the cocoa and sugar mixture that you set aside earlier evenly over the batter. It should cover the batter completely. Then drizzle the coffee mixture all over the top of the cocoa mixture.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is puffed, bubbling, and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Do not overbake. Cool the cake for 20ish minutes before serving; they will fall as they cool. Serve with vanilla or coffee ice cream or whipped cream and berries.

Warm leftover cake in the microwave and it'll taste just as good the next day.

Hot Fudge Pudding CakeHot Fudge Pudding Cake
(Don't overfill your ramekins like me. Individual cakes should be baked in 8 portions.)

For Individual Cakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and spray 8 ramekins with nonstick spray and set the ramekins on a baking dish.

Divide the batter evenly in the ramekins and smooth out the top. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cocoa sugar mixture over the top of the batter. Make sure to cover the batter completely. Drizzle slowly pour 3 tablespoons of the coffee mixture over the top of the cocoa. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes before serving; they will fall as they cool. Serve with vanilla or coffee ice cream or whipped cream and berries.

Warm leftover cake in the microwave and it'll taste just as good the next day.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake


Peabody said...

Well, that is just down right sin in a cup! Holy yumminess.

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely fabulous, WOW. I can't wait to try them!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

That looks delicious! Good luck in the contest. (Gosh, I want all of my favorite bloggers to win!!!)

pam said...

That looks so good!

JEP said...

I love how the spoon is just begging for someone to lick the chocolate goodness! Good luck--sure looks like a winning recipe & photo!

test it comm said...

Those chocolate pots look delicious! The way they are made does sound interesting.

Anonymous said...

Oh how can you do this to me? That looks amazing! AMAZING!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Sublime. Simply sublime.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, that looks scrumptious and deliciously rich!



Madame K said...

Talk about a serving of chocolate comfort - yum.

Tarah at Genesis of a Cook said...

Talk about delicious! That looks sinful and just down right yummy!

food makes me happy said...

Oh my,
I'm in love with it just by looking at the pictures!

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely fantastic! I have a similar pudding cake recipe. The first time I poured the liquid over the batter it didn't look right. I thought I royally screwed up, but like you said the results are amazing!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I was just talking about a self-saucing pudding with a fellow blogger a moment ago. My mom used to make them quite often but usually from a mix. They are so simple to put together no need for a mix...but great either way!!!

Helene said...

Look wonderful! I wish we could all go to Napa because I would love to share a room with all my favorite bloggers! Makes me hungry!

Aoife said...

I'm feeling a very strong urge to bake some magic cake (is there any other kind?). In the meantime, I've tagged you for Seven Random Things. I hope you'll participate!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Holy Moly - this looked so good that I had to make it tonight... and I don't even love chocolate! LOL. I mean, it looked so good I had to delete my previous post about "going to make it" and add one saying I did make it! WooooooW this is goooooood eats! Thanks so much for posting this =)

Anonymous said...

Oh my!!Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous tat looks delicious buddy.Thanks for sharing.
keep up the work.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Happy New Year to you and Steven! Here's to another year of good eats.

Anonymous said...

Did I just die and go to heaven? I think I almost cried upon reading this entry. It sounds sooooooo good! And I second peabody, holy yumminess!

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

Best of luck to you in the contest - that photo stopped me in my tracks! Yum!!

Amy said...

Ahh... so bad for the thighs... but soooo sooo good. :D

Let me know how you like it!


Thank you!

Oh don't you worry, I licked that spoon clean immediately after. Thank you for the well wishes!

Yeah I had never heard of this before until reading CI.

Give in to temptation! :D

Thank you!

Thanks so much.

You bet!

Definitely very yummy.

This is probably one of my favorite chocolate recipes now.

Totally know how you feel. Liquid on top of batter just doesn't seem like it's going to work at all.

Bellini valli,
You can do this by pouring coffee over brownie batter from a mix too I bet. Goood stuff. But you're right, they're really easy to make from scratch.

Me too! It'd be so fun!

Aw thanks for the tag! I'll do that as soon as I can. :)

Hehe Yay! I'm so glad to hear!

Life info zone,

You too WC! Gong xi fa cai!

You should make it! I bet you'll love it. :)

Thank you!

Jen said...

Looks really good! Will try this later. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, fantastically easy recipe. I made this over the weekend and welll... it didn't turn out as incredible as yours.

I made individual servings but didn't read properly so I put about 12 teaspoons of the coffee mixture. Sad to say, it ended up extremely sludgy. Not to mention I forgot about the waiting time so no one in my family was interested. :(

But there was definitely potential so I'm going to give it another shot this weekend and hopefully it'll turn out as good as yours... :) (Any tips on reducing the sugar? I cut it down the first time and it still seemed too sweet.) Thanks!

Amy said...

Hope you like it!

Hi miche,
The individual cakes should get 3 Tbsp of the coffee mixture or 9 teaspoons so hopefully if you try that amount, it'll work out better. As for the sugar, I would suggest decreasing the amount of granulated sugar in the cake itself. The topping is 1/3 C cocoa, 1/3 C brown sugar, 1/3 C granulated sugar so I would keep that the same. Then for the cake itself you can use 1/3 C of granulated sugar, or even 1/4 C. I am inclined to agree with you that the cake is a tad too sweet. I decreased the sugar from the original CI recipe but next time, I will experiment with lowering the sugar a little more. Let me know if that works out better!

Camemberu said...

Wow I just discovered your blog and I'm blown away by the gorgeous photos! *drool* I'm definitely adding you to my list of food blogs!

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

This looks so decadent. I have to try it. The picture shows Medaglia D'Oro instant coffee. That's espresso. Does it matter if it's espresso or regular instant coffee?

Amy said...


Both will work, instant espresso will be stronger than instant coffee but I couldn't taste it in the end product. The coffee just enhances the chocolateliness. Medaglia D'oro just happens to be my favorite brand.

Anonymous said...

Question, do you have to use the instant coffee? I really want to try this recipe but hate to buy a whole jar of instant coffee that I will never use. Can I substitute something else? Thanks! Great blog btw!

toro said...

I live in japan.
I am studying about ice cream and sugary foods.
I Toro.
Lived in Japan.
I am studying about ice cream and cake and sugary foods.
And I would especially like to collect information about the ice cream.

Therefore, the link to your site.
Whether the link to my site please.

falletron said...

Mmm, this was delicious! This is the first of the recipes from your blog that I've tried - I cooked it for my family, and it went down very well.

I only made half the recipe, since I was making the individual puddings, and used my coffee machine, rather than instant. I fear I left them in the oven a little too long (I am cursed with a fan-assisted beast, and wasn't sure how to adjust the time/temperature) - they were still delicious and gooey, but didn't quite have the perfect melted chocolate look of your pictures. I ended up going for 200 degrees Celsius, and when I checked after 15 minutes they were bubbling well.

I am now off to soak my chocolate-encrusted ramekins - I look forward to trying out your other recipes!


Crystal said...

I stumbled across your blog from Google ... when I was a little girl, my grandmother used to make something similar to this with Jiffy brand cake mix and frosting mix. Alas, when Jiffy discontinued the frosting mix, we thought our days of having this - everyone's favorite dessert - were over. Recently, my father and I had a bout of nostalgia and were talking about it. I found this and decided to give it a try ... I thought the coffee made it a little more bitter than what I remembered, and maybe I'd consider semisweet chocolate next time instead of bitter, but generally speaking, it was a very close recreation, and I just wanted to say thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

oh wow! this looks amazing! love your blog btw! kudos!

Naturally Me Creations said...

Yummy....this looks exceptionally delicious! :)


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