I don't know what all the fuss was about those molten chocolate cakes that were so popular a couple of years ago. This Hot Fudge Pudding is just as good but much easier to make and has been around since Noah came out of the ark. Now, granted, digging into the middle of what you think is an over-sized cupcake and finding it oozing with chocolate sauce can be quite impressive at a dinner party but for the family, this pudding hits the mark. The pudding is not as rich in calories, butter and eggs but the hot fudge sauce will taste just as good and will burn your tongue just as easily if you don't let it cool down before you dig in.
My aunt has been making this pudding (or one like it) for years and it has always been a favourite at her dinner table. I used to make it fairly often when the boys were younger and living at home, especially if we were having company. I'd make a double recipe and bake it in a 9x13-inch dish so we'd have enough for everyone with some left-over for another meal.
One year I made this pudding for a camp meeting dessert but unfortunately didn't put it in a large enough pan. By the time the batter had baked the sauce had boiled over and spilled and burned on the bottom of the oven. I wouldn't serve it because there wasn't enough sauce and the edges were hard as rock and a little burned. I was loath to throw it out, though, because of all the work and ingredients that would have been wasted so I stuck it in the refrigerator. Later on that night, when I was cleaning up the kitchen, the youth group came into the cafeteria for some kind of meeting. I put out the cold pudding, with the burned edges scraped off, and told the kids they could eat it if they wanted to. Word spread, and in no time the doomed pudding disappeared and the pan was scraped as clean as a chocolaty pan could be. I still laugh when I think of that camp meeting pudding.
It's really such a simple recipe to put together and way better than the boxed mixes. During the baking the cake rises to the top and the water, sugar and cocoa form a lovely fudge sauce under the cake. Just make sure your pan is big and deep enough to hold the pudding and sauce while baking.
Hot Fudge Pudding
1 cup flour
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa + 4 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
1 cup brown sugar
1¾ cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have a 9x9-inch glass baking dish ready. No need to grease the dish.
Sift together flour, sugar, 2 tablespoon cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add milk and melted margarine and mix until smooth. Stir in nuts (if using) and pour into 9x9-inch square glass baking pan.
Mix the brown sugar and the remaining 4 tablespoons cocoa together. Sprinkle cocoa mix on top of the chocolate batter in the pan. Pour 1¾ cup boiling water over entire batter. Bake 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with pouring cream, whipped cream or ice cream. This is also delicious at room temperature.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Mix the flour, cocoa and other dry ingredients together. Make sure you sift the cocoa so there won't be little lumps of cocoa in the cake. Stir in the melted butter and milk and mix well. I don't use the nuts but they are a lovely addition if you use them.
Pour the batter in an 8-or 9-inch square glass baking dish. Make sure the dish is large and deep enough so the sauce won't boil and spill over onto the oven floor. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cocoa mixture evenly over the batter. Don't worry if there are a few lumps in the brown sugar because they will dissolve in the boiling water.
See, I told you about that creamy, smooth, hot fudge sauce.
Doesn't that look just grand!
Take your pick-- plain, with ice cream or with a dollop of whipped cream.
Good any way you like it.