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Denver Chocolate Pudding Cake

submitted by willandleah on Feb-7-05
average rating: 3.0 (from 1 votes)
(this recipe is good for dessert)
servings: 4-6

This is THE dessert in my mother's family.  It is slightly adapted from an old edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and although Cooks' Illustrated thoroughly revised the recipe recently, I still cling to the old version; it just tastes better to me. And it's easy and quick and requires no eggs, if you're like me and habitually forget to restock them.
I have no idea what it has to do with Denver, though.

Will would just like to add that this is the dessert that sealed his fate. 

3/4 cup white sugar, plus another 1/2 cup
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 oz unsweetened chocolate OR 3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp cocoa
Cold coffee or water

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Sift together the 3/4 cup white sugar, the flour, the baking powder, and the salt.

Melt the butter and chocolate or cocoa together, and pour into flour mixture.

Stir in the milk and vanilla, and mix well.  Scrape into a buttered baking dish, one large enough to leave a little clearence at the top. 

Over the top of the cake, strew the brown sugar, the 1/2 cup white sugar, and the cocoa.  (You don't have to combine them first if you don't want to get another bowl dirty, and I rarely do.)  Then, even though it looks like a mistake, pour 1 1/2 cups of cold coffee or water over the whole thing (hence the need for clearance in your baking dish).

Bake for 40 minutes.  The water or coffee will combine with the cocoa and sugars and melt down through the cake somehow, making it rich and moist, with its own chocolate sauce at the bottom of the dish.  Serve at room temperature, not hot out of the oven; Will likes his with a bit of cream or milk poured over it, but I feel this is gilding the lily.

steveandsarah, Mar-5-05 19:38:06:
It was a cold, rainy night in Los Angeles (really) and I wanted a warming, comforting pudding, but I had no eggs. Denver Chocolate pudding to the rescue! Now, I have to say, and I know this may be sacrilegious, but though it did hit the spot, I think the recipe could be improved. I think I used less sugar than directed and it still seemed too sweet and not chocolatey enough to me. A long time ago I made a Nigel Slater version of this, (in his book Appetite) which had its own problems (I couldn't tell when it was cooked because the cakey bit was completely submerged in the sauce, so overcooked it and it turned out completely leaden, leading our dinner-guest (Renee) to christen it the "chocolate bog pudding." Still, I remember the sauce being extremely chocolatey, and I think it may have been because it had more chocolate in it as well as cocoa. So I might try that one again, and report back...
sarahjane, Jul-29-14 14:24:59:
Here is the Cooks' Illustrated version, if anyone wants to try


2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (2 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed, 1 3/4 ounces)

Bake at 325

1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces semisweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (3 3/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg yolk

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