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Monday, February 25, 2013

Quick Chocolate Fix Dessert--Can Be Vegan Too!



Here's a quick dessert that could be stirred up and baked while finishing the rest of dinner, or even made after drop in guests arrive, ready to be served hot from the oven. It's a good one for kids to help with, both because it is fun to see how the sauce ends up on the bottom and because the lack of eggs in the batter means that bowls and utensils can all be licked clean when the mixing is done.

If you are an ice cream fan, this is wonderful hot out of the oven with ice cream melting over and around it. Whipped cream is also an excellent topper for those who like these creamy additions. And while this is probably best served warm, any leftovers will be good cold too, even though the sauce will thicken and soak into the cake part a bit more. Re-warming individual servings in the microwave is also an option, though I find leftovers rarely are a problem with this dessert. It can easily serve eight or nine, but fewer people at the table will probably find room for seconds or thirds!

Warm or cold, this old-fashioned dessert is a good thing to keep in your ready recipe repertoire.


Hot Fudge Pudding

1 c flour
3/4 c sugar
3 T cocoa
2 t baking powder
1/4 t ground black pepper (optional)
2 T canola oil (could use butter for a non-vegan version)
1/2 c milk--soy or almond milk for vegan version
1/2 t pure vanilla

Topping:
1 c brown sugar
4 T cocoa
1 3/4 c very hot water--should be almost boiling for best results
1 c coarsely nuts (optional)

1. Sift dry ingredients and stir in milk and oil. Spread in oiled 8” square pan.

2. If using nuts, spread evenly over the top of the batter.










3. Mix brown sugar and cocoa and sprinkle over batter.





4. Pour hot water over entire batter. It may look strange, almost like a failure, at this point, but don't worry!


5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Do not overbake. Serve warm or cold.

Mixing Hints to Minimize Clean-up
 Stir the batter in a large glass measuring cup--one of my favorite kitchen items is this four cup mixing bowl/measuring cup.


Scrape the batter out of the bowl with a silicone spatula and then mix the brown sugar and cocoa in the same bowl and spread that mixture over the batter.

Heat the water in a hotpot or separate bowl in the microwave.  Pour the almost boiling water into the same measuring cup bowl you just used for the cocoa/brown sugar mix, up to the 1 3/4 cup line before pouring it over the batter as in step 4 in the recipe.

Voila! You have an already rinsed mixing bowl ready for the dishwasher, and the container you used to heat the water can be allowed to air dry and then put away--no need to wash it, since boiling water in it has sanitized it better than any other cleaning step you might think you need to take.

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