Monday, February 3, 2014

Mollie Katzen's Chocolate Eclipse by Colleen

"This photo really makes the cake look revolting.  But it is good, I promise."  --- Colleen

This is one of those weird recipes that you just have to try.  It makes a sort of cake on top with a built in chocolate sauce below.  You dish it out, invert it, and then scoop some of the sauce on top.

The texture of the cake part is a bit different, but as Charlotte said, it is three desserts in one.  The top (which is now the bottom) is crunchy, the middle is sort of cake/pudding, and the bottom (which is now the top) is sauce.  Whipped cream or ice cream is a very good idea with this.

It isn't so pretty though, so not good for a formal meal - we had it after grilled steaks and chicken.  This dessert is about as homey as it gets.  Yum.


Mollie Katzen's Chocolate Eclipse

▪     butter for greasing (I used Pam baking spray)
▪     2 tablespoons butter
▪     2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
▪     2 cups buttermilk
▪     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
▪     2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
▪     2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar, divided: 1 1/4 cups/1 cup
▪     3 teaspoons baking powder
▪     1 teaspoon baking soda
▪     1/2 teaspoon salt
▪     1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
▪     1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1.75 oz | 48g) unsweetened cocoa
▪     2 1/2 cups boiling water

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
2.  Melt the butter and chocolate together. (I did this in the microwave.)
3.  In a separate saucepan, heat buttermilk gently until just a little warmer than body temperature being careful not to boil or cook it. (I just warmed mine in the microwave for about 45 seconds) Remove from heat and set aside.
4.  In a large mixing bowl combine flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well (use your hands, if necessary, to break up any little lumps of brown sugar), making as uniform a mixture as possible.
5.  Pour melted chocolate and butter into dry ingredients. Pour in buttermilk and vanilla. Stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired. Spread into the prepared pan.
6.  Combine the remaining 1 1/4 cups brown sugar with the unsweetened cocoa in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture as evenly as possible over the top of the batter.
7.   Pour on the boiling water. It will look terrible, and you will not believe you are actually doing this, but try to persevere.
8.  Place immediately in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (I say closer to 30 — I did 31), or until the center is firm to the touch.
9.  Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Invert each serving on a plate so that the fudge sauce on the bottom becomes a topping.   Serve hot or at room temperature.

Anyway, I have heard of recipes like this before that involve hot water and have always wanted to try one. And I love a recipe that doesn't have eggs.  With the exception of the milk (which most people do have on hand) this is a pantry recipe. 

There are no eggs in the cake, but it does involve buttermilk.  Which I didn't have, so I made my own by putting 2 Tablespoon of white vinegar in a 2 cup measure and then filling with milk. Then you let that sit for 10 minutes or so.  You are supposed to heat the buttermilk, and I just warmed it a little in the Pyrex measuring cup so it wouldn't be cold, but not curdle either.  

So first you make the batter with the flour, chocolate, 1 cup of brown sugar, etc.  Then you top with a mixture of cocoa and brown sugar.  Then you heat 2 1/2 cups of water to boiling and pour it over the whole deal and immediately put it in the oven.

I didn't pour evenly enough and not all the cocoa mixture got wet.  You aren't supposed to stir, but I think next time I would at least make sure all the cocoa got wet before putting in the oven, because it didn't sink in while baking.   

I tested my at the 30 minute mark and it was done. Overbaking doesn't seem like a good idea.  So I took it out and let it sit while we were finishing dinner.  I even set  the timer for 30 minutes.  Then I dished it out and Steve and Charlotte were VERY HAPPY campers. 


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