Susan G Purdy is the author of one of my first and favorite baking books, The Family Baker. Since acquiring the book some 10 or 11 years ago, I have tried dozens of the recipes and to a one, they have all been great. None are complicated or fussy, they’re all just really good. Following in my aunt Margaret’s footsteps, I always write in my cookbooks the date at which I first tried the recipe and my opinions of the outcome. This black and white chocolate pudding cake (which I have made a million times since) I first made in 2000, and the comment at the top was, “Holy Sh!t, yum.”
Talley describes this cake as the perfect cake/gooey brownie. It’s incredibly low tech, no electronic equipment needed – all you need is a wooden spoon and a bowl. You’ll make a thick batter, spread it into a pan, pour on some dry sugar and cocoa, then pour on what seems like too much boiling water, and then stick the whole thing in the oven. What emerges 20 or 30 minutes later is a rich, gooey, chewy, chocolatey mass dripping with its own syrup. You’ll want to add ice cream.
Black and White Chocolate Pudding Cake
adapted from The Family Baker
- butter for preparing pan
- 1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
- 1⅓ cups granulated sugar, divided (⅔ cup and ⅔ cup)
- ½ cup sifted unsweetened cocoa, preferably dutch-processed, divided (¼ cup and ¼ cup)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½-⅔ cup white chocolate, very coarsely chopped (I chop mine into ½ inch squares, or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup boiling water
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Butter a 9″x9″ baking pan and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, ⅔ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to blend, then mix in the milk, oil, vanilla, and white chocolate. The batter will feel quite stiff. Spread it in the baking pan.
In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ¼ cup cocoa with the remaining ⅔ cup sugar. Spread this evenly over the batter in the pan and pour the boiling water on top. DO NOT STIR.
Bake the cake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top looks crisp and crackled and a cake tester inserted in a cakey area comes out clean. Cool the cake a few minutes, then serve warm, spooned directly from the pan. Top with vanilla ice cream or unsweetened heavy cream.
The next day, the cake will have reabsorbed a the syrupy liquid and will be more like a brownie – it’s still quite good.
Serves 4 normal people, or 1 very greedy person with a sweet tooth