Monday, December 29, 2014

Chocolate Pudding Cake

I must have gotten my food genes from my dad and grandmother, who both loved food as much as I do. The rest of my relatives are picky to put it mildly. None of them will eat the dark meat of a turkey, one of them refuses to eat cheese (which I don’t understand to this day), and “weird” vegetables like sweet potatoes and stuffing with sausage would never be allowed at a holiday meal.

This is why I always offer to make dessert. It’s much easier to please a picky crowd. I was given this recipe from a friend’s mother years ago and it always seems to be a hit. It’s chocolate, it’s cake, and it’s pudding. What’s not to like? And the recipe works even better in the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker than it does in the oven.

Here’s why: First of all, this cake is best served warm. The warm setting on the slow cooker keeps the cake warm without overcooking it, which means you can have dessert right after that big turkey dinner or later on with some coffee and it’s still warm and delicious! I let my cake sit in the slow cooker on low for an hour and a half after the initial cooking time. The cake stayed moist, the pudding stayed creamy, and it tasted as good as it did when it was first done.

Also, the slow cooker lets you free up oven space during the holidays, which is always a challenge for those of us with limited kitchen space. It also frees up time, which I think we can all use more of, especially when trying to put together a big meal. This is a super easy recipe, and the slow cooker makes it even easier: Set the program to cook at low for 4 hours and at the end of the cooking time, it automatically switches to warm. As the name says, Set and Forget!

Chocolate Pudding Cake
by Jennifer

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water
Whipped cream for serving, if desired

Butter the bottom and sides of the insert of a Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. Add flour, baking powder, salt, 3/4 cup sugar, and 2 Tablespoons cocoa to the insert and mix well. Add milk, melted butter and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread batter evenly in pan.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, and the remaining 1/4 cup cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture over the batter in the slow cooker. Pour hot water over everything in the slow cooker. Place a kitchen towel over the slow cooker and place the lid on top of the towel (this will keep water from dripping back onto the cake). Program the slow cooker for 4 hours on high. It will automatically switch to warm after the cooking is complete. Served topped with whipped cream, if desired.

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