Chocolate Pudding Cake

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It just doesn’t get any better than this old-fashioned dessert. A rich, dark chocolate cake comes with its own luscious chocolate sauce — all baked in the same dish. Since I often can’t resist gilding the lily, I like to serve this with a big scoop of vanilla or chocolate ripple ice cream. Yum!
Cooking Time: 2.5 hr
Recipe By: Slow Cooker Comfort Food, Judith Finlayson
  • Prep15 min |
  • Total15 min |
  • Serves12-16

Ingredients

  • Cake:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour 250 mL
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 125 mL
    • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted 75 mL
    • 1 tablespoons baking powder 15 mL
    • 1 cup milk 250 mL
    • 3 tablespoons melted butter 45 mL
    • 2 each eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 mL
    • 1/2 cup chopped toasted blanched hazelnuts or almonds, optional (see Tips) 125 mL
    • Ice cream, optional
  • Sauce:
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar 250 mL
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 25 mL
    • 1 cup boiling water 250 mL
    • 2 tablespoons liqueur (see Tips) 25 mL

Instructions

Sauce: In a bowl, combine brown sugar, cocoa powder, boiling water and liqueur. Stir well and pour into prepared dish.

Cake
In a separate bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir to blend. Add milk, butter, eggs and vanilla and mix just until blended. Fold in nuts, if using. Pour gently over sauce. 

Cover dish with foil and secure with a string. Place dish in slow cooker stoneware and pour in enough boiling water to come 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the dish. Cover and cook on High for 2-1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Serve hot, with sauce spooned over the cake and a dollop of ice cream, if using.


Tips
I recommend using a liqueur that complements the flavors of the nuts —Frangelico, if you’re using hazelnuts, or Amaretto, if using almonds. Plain brandy will work well with either.

To blanch and toast hazelnuts, bring 2 cups (500 mL) of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons (25 mL) baking soda. (The water will foam up, so skim off the foam periodically.) Add nuts and boil for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Pop the skins off using your fingers and discard skins. Place peeled nuts on a baking sheet in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Chop the nuts on a cutting board, using a sharp knife. The same techniques work for almonds, but omit baking soda from the blanching water.


Variation
Double Chocolate Pudding Cake: Substitute 1/2 cup (125 mL) chocolate chips for the nuts and use a chocolate or coffee-flavored liqueur or brandy in the sauce.

Recipes from SLOW COOKER COMFORT FOOD by Judith Finlayson

 (Robert Rose, September 2009, Softcover/$24.95)

Additional Notes

Lightly greased 8-cup (2 L) baking dish
Large (minimum 5 quarts) oval slow cooker
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