Easy-to-make pudding the cure for a sweet tooth

Posted Feb. 08, 2011, at 5:07 p.m.

You and I and several other people we know might want to eat chocolate today, tomorrow and on Valentine’s Day, too, unless I miss my guess.

I love the following gooey mess of a pudding because it is unbelievably easy to make, and gives you one of those molten chocolate cake experiences without all the fuss, eggs, or much butter or milk. It’s called Denver Chocolate Pudding and I found the recipe years ago in an old Fanny Farmer cookbook published in 1976 or so, which practically makes it an antique. I made it whenever it seemed our household wanted a dessert or chocolate, and I had done nothing earlier in the day to provide for either. Eat it warm and serve with cream or ice cream. Since it is chocolate you can drop a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice cream on it or perhaps a raspberry or orange sherbet, or even a citrusy sorbet.

If people in your life can tolerate a post-prandial shot of caffeine you can even adorn the pudding with espresso sorbet. In fact, I have made the pudding with coffee in the place of water in the second step. Use decaf coffee if you don’t want to be awake at midnight recalling how delicious dessert was.

You can bake this in a plain old pyrex baking dish, but for a nice meal why not put it in a souffle dish to dress the meal up a bit. I bet you can make it in individual ramekins too, by carefully dividing the ingredients among the dishes you have to use.

Denver Chocolate Pudding

Yields about eight servings

Base

2 tablespoons butter

1 ounce square of unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate

¾ cup of sugar

1 cup of flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 ½ cups cold water or coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a quart sized baking dish. Melt the butter and the ounce square of chocolate in a small pan over hot water or in the microwave. Sift the sugar, flour and baking powder into a medium mixing bowl and add the butter and chocolate mixture. You will have a lumpy looking mixture. Add the milk and vanilla and stir until a stiff batter results and scrape it into the baking dish.

Mix together the brown sugar, sugar and cocoa in the topping part of the recipe. Sprinkle that over the batter in the baking dish. Gently dribble the water or coffee over the topping and batter but do not stir it into the batter. Bake for 40 minutes. There will be a crusty layer on top and a chocolate syruplike layer on the bottom. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

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