If you’re as old as I am, you’ve probably watched at least one episode of The A-Team and know a few of the classic lines: I pity the fool, I ain’t gettin’ on no plane, and the most well-known of all, I love it when a plan comes together. My plans didn’t come together. I had planned for a busy evening of a meeting and possibly a shopping run, but then Providence stepped in and my meeting was canceled, leaving me unexpectedly free for an evening, which hasn’t happened in a while.
Then my friend called. She’d had a bad day. I said, “hey, we’re getting ready to throw some burgers on the grill — come on over.” Having no dessert planned for the night, I pulled one of my newer cookbooks off the shelf, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking and decided to make the Fudge Pudding Cake, because every bad day is more bearable with chocolate. It baked while we sat on the patio and fought off the large bugs swarming around our table and the persistent gray cat who’d had an unhappy interaction with some orange-ish paint. (This cat proceeded to stay outside our bedroom window yowling all. night. loooong.) We sent the kids to bed and the grown-ups had cake and ice cream and chatted. I love it when a plan falls through and I’m available for a friend.
The cake is decent; I obviously left the coffee out, as well as the nuts. It’s a whole grain version of what you may already know as Betty Crocker’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. I haven’t made the other version before, so I can’t give a comparison. The pictures are of the leftovers as it was too dark to take decent photos last night. I warmed the cake but it had already absorbed much of the ‘pudding’. It was definitely better served immediately after baking.
Fudge Pudding Cake (from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking)
1 1/4 c. (5 oz.) whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
3/4 c. (5 1/4 oz.) granulated sugar
1/2 c. (1 1/2 oz.) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. milk
1 large egg
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. espresso powder
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick, 2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
1 c. (4 oz.) chopped nuts, optional
3/4 c. (5 5/8 oz.) packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 c. (3/4 oz.) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. hot brewed coffee or hot water
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Have a 9-inch square pan on hand.
To make the first layer:
Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla, espresso powder and melted butter in a large measuring cup. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing till smooth. Sir int he nuts, if using, and spread the batter evenly in the pan.
To make the second layer:
Mix the brown sugar with the cocoa, and sprinkle this mixture over the batter. Gently drizzle the hot coffee (or water) over the batter; there’s no need to mix it in.
To bake the cake:
Place the pan in the oven, and bake until it appears set and is bubbly around the edges, 45 minutes. Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken as it stands, and when totally cooled will be the consistency of medium-thick fudge sauce.
To serve, scoop servings of the warm cake onto individual plates; top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. If you can’t serve it while it’s warm, keep it at room temperature (for 2-3 days) and reheat it oh-so-briefly in the microwave just before serving.