After a few months as a part of the Secret Recipe Club, I’m starting to feel at home, and I’m loving it! This month I was assigned the blog Busy-at-Home, written by Glenda Embree. Glenda has a great, comprehensive site that covers a lot of different topics in addition to her recipes (all things home and garden, family, and savvy spending!) I had no trouble at all finding several things I wanted to make, but I settled on this incredible recipe for Chocolate Cobbler, because it’s not something I’ve ever made or even tasted. I really had no idea what to expect from the recipe, and after assembling it I was sure I’d gone wrong somewhere – the consistency and assembly looked all wrong. But what I mistook for a mistake was actually something far from it. Something so wonderful there aren’t necessarily words to describe it. Your best bet is just to go make it yourself.
Since you might be reading this in a place where you can’t just take an hour and whip this up in the kitchen, I GUESS I can tell you what it’s all about. First you should know, it’s not really like anything I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried a lot of desserts. And of all those desserts, this is one of the most unique to me, and so deliciously fun to eat. It’s like chocolate pudding, with a cake baked in the center. Sort of like soft chocolate custard, or a self-saucing chocolate cake. Or a molten cake! Just like that… only inside out. Obviously there’s a lot of chocolate going on here. And cake. And sauciness. And also a lot of magic that can only be experienced through a taste of this wonderful treat.
When the cake is assembled, half of the concoction is the actual cake batter, and half is the “sauce.” The sauce starts out as a cocoa powder-sugar-brown-sugar and water mixture that gets sprinkled and poured over the cake batter, and then baked. I baked this cake for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for, because the instructions said to “bake until the center is set.” I didn’t realize that only the center needed to be set, and not the oozing molten chocolate lava surrounding it. Fortunately the extra time in the oven did nothing but good for this dish.
The cake batter that goes into the bottom of the pan first actually bakes up into a cake in the center of a pan, and the cocoa/water mixtures cooks up into a sauce that surrounds the cake – kind of like a lone chocolate island sitting in a big chocolate sea. As you can see in the photos, this is a serious chocolate lovers dessert – certainly not for the faint of heart. I made sure to use good quality cocoa powder (I used Callebaut) as it’s really the star of the show, so if you give this a try I suggest you do the same.
The recipe on Glenda’s blog is a double recipe of the original found on Tasty Kitchen, which is the one I followed, only because I try not to have copious amounts of sweets hanging around for just Kevin and I (even though I usually DO have copious amounts of sweets hanging around…) I made this in a casserole pan though I don’t know the exact dimensions, and that worked perfectly. I’d have to imagine that given the nature of this recipe, it would be pretty easy to do in any number of pans as long as they are deep enough to contain the liquid chocolate! I followed this recipe to a T, and while it’s superb on it’s own, I did have it once with some B3 ice cream from a local ice cream shop Toscanini’s (brown butter, brown sugar, brownies), and it totally blew this dish out of the water.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1) First stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, and 3/4 cup of the white sugar. Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar.
2) Stir in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
3) Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish. (I used an oval casserole dish)
4) In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining white sugar (it should be 1/2 cup), the brown sugar, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.
5) Pour the hot tap water over all. DO NOT STIR! (This here is the secret to the sauce!)
6) Bake for about 40 minutes or until the center is set. (But ONLY the center – the edges can and should be soft and gooey)
7) Let stand for a few minutes if you can hold yourself back. Serve with homemade ice cream using the gooey sauce to spoon all over.