Mocha pudding cake

Serve this chocolate dessert with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

The Pastry Chef Baking
A chocolate pudding cake with just a hint of coffee.

I love pudding cakes because they're so easy to make and almost by definition are moist and rich. Mix up the cake batter, sprinkle with cocoa and sugar, pour the liquid on top and bake. It's hard to dry out a pudding cake unless you really don't pay attention and leave it in the oven too long. Plus, you're supposed to eat it warm with ice cream – bonus.

For the barbecue I went to last weekend, I threw this together. Normally you'd serve pudding cake warm from the oven but since I was going to someone else's house, I had to make this ahead of time in my own kitchen and I just warmed it up before serving with vanilla ice cream once I was at the barbecue. I had done a straight chocolate version of a pudding cake before but this differed because instead of pouring water over the top, you poured a cup of coffee. Hence the "mocha" in the name.

You really do want to time this one as you can't rely completely on the toothpick test since the center is supposed to be "wet." You can tell it's done when a toothpick inserted at the edges comes out with moist crumbs while the middle is still somewhat jiggly. I baked mine exactly 25 minutes and it was done at the edges and definitely still jiggly in the middle. I warmed it up slightly when I was at the barbecue before I served it. The taste was good although you couldn't taste the coffee part as strongly as I had expected. But next time, I would bake it for a little longer, maybe another 5-7 minutes as the middle was definitely far more liquid batter than I wanted and I would've preferred more cake. The pudding part seemed more like batter than liquid fudge.

Mocha Pudding Cake
From The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz

1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch process
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot, very strong, great-quality brewed coffee

Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan.

Sift together the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the 6 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla.

Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup cocoa powder and sprinkle evenly over the top. Pour the hot coffee over the cake batter, then bake for 25 minutes, until it appears just set around the edges yet still jiggly in the center.

Carol Ramos blogs at The Pastry Chef's Baking.

Related post: Silver Cake

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