Cast Iron Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Why This Recipe Works
Hot fudge pudding cake is a magical dessert; what starts out looking like a child's baking experiment gone wrong turns into a two-layered treat that any adult would eagerly tuck into. First, a fairly standard cake batter is topped with a sugar-cocoa layer, then liquid is poured over the top. As the batter bakes, the cake rises to the top, and what's left behind on the bottom turns into a pudding-style chocolate sauce. Most hot fudge pudding cakes end up looking rich and fudgy but have very little chocolate flavor. To make sure ours delivered on flavor as well as on looks, we used a combination of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate to add multiple layers of chocolate flavor. For the puddinglike bottom layer, most recipes we found called for water, but we saw an opportunity to take our dessert to the next level. Using 1 cup of coffee in addition to 1/2 cup of water gave our pudding cake even deeper flavor (without actually making it taste like coffee). Making this treat in a cast-iron skillet was a no-brainer, since hot fudge pudding cake is meant to be served hot; cast iron does a great job of holding onto heat, so there was no worry that the dessert would cool down before it was time to eat. Serve with whipped cream.