I'm not ready to put my crock pot away just yet. It has another comfort-food job to do, but this time it's not for dinner. This time, the crock pot is charged with making an exceptionally delicious and equally simple dessert: Chocolate Pudding Cake. This is not a typical cake so much as a gooey-melty-cakey concoction that demands a scoop of vanilla ice cream as soon as it is spooned out of the crock. The cake ingredients are mixed together and placed in the crock pot, and then another mixture of brown sugar, cocoa powder, and hot water are mixed together and poured over the top BUT not stirred in. What happens in the crock pot (while you are obliviously doing other things, or nothing!) is magic as the two layers come together to create a cake on top, floating on a pool of what can only be described as hot pudding-like fudge. I was telling my ex-husband about this recipe a few years ago, and he said that one of the nurses he worked with brought it in regularly as a treat for her co-workers, crock pot and all. She plugged it in and it cooked during their shift! Imagine working with that wafting through the air! I won't be doing that (sorry, Admissions folks) but I will be making it one very cold night and it will certainly chase the chill away.
CROCK POT CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Hot fudge part:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups simmering hot water
Spray interior of crock pot with vegetable spray.
Mix together all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Spread in the bottom of the crock pot.
For the hot fudge part: in a medium bowl, mix the cocoa and brown sugar. Add the very hot water. Stir until completely combined and gently pour over cake batter in crock pot. Cover.
Cook with crock pot set on HIGH for at least 3 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn off crock pot. Allow to cool down (de-hot, actually) for 30 minutes. It will still be nice and warm.
Serve in bowls with vanilla ice cream and sauce from the bottom of the crock pot spooned over top.
Photo to be added when it comes out of the crock!