Makes one 8-inch square cake
Serves 4 to 6
Level of difficulty *
Pudding cakes, which I think taste more like soufflés than puddings or cakes, are the result, I bet, of an error but a good error it was, because the dessert is delicious. A pudding cake is nothing more than a cake batter in which the proportion of ingredients is out of balance so that, during baking, the cake separates into a top layer with a cakelike texture and a bottom layer that is more like a custard. The most classic of these types of pudding cakes is a lemon one, but I think this chocolate version is quite lovely. It is most delicious when eaten warm, fresh from the oven.
2 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (0.75 ounce) unsweetened,
nonalkalized cocoa powder
3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
2 cups fresh raspberries
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan. Fold a cloth towel in the bottom of a 13 x 9 X 2-inch baking pan, or one large enough to accommodate the 8-inch square pan.
2. In a mixing bowl, blend the flour, cocoa, and sugar with a whisk.
3. with an electric mixer on low speed, beat the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla for a few seconds, or until foamy. Pour this over the dry ingredients and blend with a rubber spatula.
4. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whip the egg whites with the salt until stiff and glossy. Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter and spread the batter evenly in the greased pan. Set the pan on the towel in the larger baking pan and pour boiling or very hot tap water into the larger pan over the towel.
5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake looks puffy and the top looks set (you can't gauge this with a tester because the center remains damp).
6. Remove the cake pan from the larger pan and serve while hot, with each portion dusted with confectioners' sugar and fresh raspberries on the side.
Keep in the refrigerator, wrapped airtight, for up to 3 days, but warm portions in a microwave oven before serving.
150 Recipes from Simple to Sublime
By Michele Urvater
Broadway Books, October 2001
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created November 2001
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