Suzi's Blog

Chocolate Pudding Cake

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How many times have you have Chocolate Molten Cake? A lot? Too much? Over it?

Lie down on couch. Take your shoes off. Fold your hands. Shut your eyes. Go back, far in time, to a simpler time and space.

Take your best memories of chocolate cake and chocolate pudding and let them flow and merge and …

Time to wake up. Time to cook. Shoes on, please. Go directly to the kitchen. Search for the cocoa powder and everything else you need. I know, I sound bossy here. I know, too, that later you will thank me.

This is better than those molten exotics: rich, dense and satisfying as only chocolate — actually cocoa — can be. Suzen has served dozens and dozens of these desserts this summer at Cooking by the Book. I never ever tire of getting my own private little dessert at the end of the meal. It may be small, only the size of one ramekin, but it’s mine, all mine.

Make yours. Then find a couch, lie down. Kick those shoes off. Again. Close your eyes. Again. Take one deep spoonful.

Okay, it may not be a life changing event. But’s a great treat.


Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients:

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups soft brown sugar

For the chocolate pudding cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • For serving: Crème fraiche, mascarpone cheese, or vanilla ice cream

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease four 5-oz. ramekins.

First make the chocolate sauce. Pour a scant cup boiling water into a small saucepan, add the cocoa powder and brown sugar, and lightly whisk over a low heat making sure that there are no lumps and the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the batter to a jug.

To make the puddings, sift the flour with the salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Whisk in the milk, melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until a thick, smooth batter forms. Transfer the batter to a jug, then pour it into the ramekins so that the mixture comes halfway up the sides. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.

Pour the chocolate sauce mixture carefully over the prepared puddings and bake in the preheated oven for 15- 20 minutes: they should still be wobbly in the center when they are ready.

If desired, top each pudding with a dollop of crème fraîche, mascarpone cheese, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Source: No Fuss Dinners by Caroline Marson

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5 for1/60th second at ISO‑1000

 

Double Berry and Polenta Cake

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Before summer ends — it’s 57° at 1:40PM on August 15th and I don’t know where summer is — but assuming it reappears and before the berries are gone, use them wisely and well. It is a rare cake that does not need frosting or whipped cream or ice cream, but this cake can just be eaten on its own.

For breakfast, add espresso. For lunch, a sip of white wine. For dinner, ice cream. I know, I said this cake does not need adornment, but just one scoop of buttermilk ice cream here is really a very good idea. For her clients at Cooking by the Book, Suzen always has ice cream. And she’s found this cake is a perfect match.

This recipe comes from Michele Scicolone’s latest wonderful volume: The Italian Vegetable Cookbook. With dessert ideas like this, even I can become a fan of vegetables.

Warm from the oven, wafting with the polenta aroma you cannot mistake, and bright withberry bites, this cake is one you’ll make again and again.


Double Berry Polenta Cake

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries

Preparation:

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Tap out the excess flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add ¾ cup of sugar, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. On low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients. Add the milk. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients just until smooth, about 1 minute.

Spread the batter in the pan. Scatter the berries over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove the pan rim and cool completely on the rack.

Cut the cake into wedges and serve.

Source: The Italian Vegetable Cookbook by Michele Scicolone

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/30th second at ISO‑3200