Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: Make this in a cast-iron skillet if you want to serve the cake hot (and you definitely should serve it that way). But if you don’t have one, use another heatproof pan. From “Everything Chocolate,” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen.

• 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

• 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

• 2/3 c. (2 oz.) unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

• 3/4 c. (3 3/4 oz.) flour

• 2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/3 c. packed (2 1/3 oz.) light brown sugar

• 1 c. (7 oz.) granulated sugar, divided

• 1 c. brewed coffee

• 1/3 c. whole milk

• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

• 1 egg yolk

• Whipped cream (at right) or ice cream, if desired

Directions

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter, chocolate and 1/3 cup cocoa together in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over low heat, stirring often, until smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in bowl.

Whisk brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup cocoa together in second bowl, breaking up any large clumps of brown sugar with fingers.

Combine coffee and 1/2 cup water in third bowl.

Whisk milk, vanilla, egg yolk and remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over top, covering entire surface of batter. Pour coffee mixture gently over brown sugar mixture.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cake is puffed and bubbling and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the skillet, about 35 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through baking. Using potholders, transfer skillet to wire rack and let cake cool for 15 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings without whipped cream:

Calories 330

Fat 14 g

Sodium 210 mg

Carbohydrates 51 g

Saturated fat 8 g

Added sugars 35 g

Protein 4 g

Cholesterol 47 mg

Dietary fiber 4 g

Exchanges per serving: ½ starch, 3 carb, 2 ½ fat.

Tiny, Salty, Chocolatey Cookies

Makes 24.

Note: This is the time to stock up on some high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, since that’s the dominant flavor, along with browned butter. The cookies can be baked up to two days ahead, wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature, or freeze them for the future. From “Nothing Fancy,” by Alison Roman.

• 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

• 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

• 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (see Note)

• 1 tsp. kosher salt

• 2 egg whites plus 1 whole egg

• 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 67% cacao), chopped

• 1/2 c. finely chopped hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans or walnuts, optional

• Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat, swirling, until starting to foam and brown, 3 to 4 minutes (whisk the butter from time to time so that the solids don’t stick to the bottom of the pot). Let cool.

Whisk the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl, ridding it of as many lumps as possible (if you prefer, sift).

Using a spatula, mix in the egg whites, whole egg and browned butter, stirring until you’ve got a good, smoothish mixture (any small lumps will take care of themselves), followed by the chocolate and any nuts you may want to add.

Using a spoon, drop quarter-sized blobs (yes, this small) of dough (the texture is really somewhere between a dough and a batter), spacing about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet (they spread a lot) Sprinkle with flaky salt and bake until the cookies have flattened considerably and look baked through and a little wrinkled, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool before eating so they can firm up.

Nutrition information per each of 24 cookies:

Calories 155

Fat 9 g

Sodium 190 mg

Carbohydrates 19 g

Saturated fat 4 g

Added sugars 14 g

Protein 2 g

Cholesterol 16 mg

Dietary fiber 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 carb, 2 fat.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: Avoid 1 % or skim milk, as the filling will be too thin. From “Everything Chocolate,” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen.

• 1 (9-in.) unbaked pie crust (homemade or commercially made)

• 1/3 c. (2 1/3 oz.) sugar

• 1/4 c. (1 oz.) cornstarch

• 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 3 c. whole or 2% low-fat milk (see Note)

• 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

• 2 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 recipe Whipped Cream (see below)

Directions

With dough in a 9-inch pie plate, edges crimped, wrap loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line chilled pie shell with double layer of aluminum foil, covering edges to prevent burning, and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet until edges are set and just beginning to turn golden, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove foil and beans/weights, rotate sheet, and continue to bake crust until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt together in large saucepan. Whisk in milk until incorporated, making sure to scrape corners of saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbling over entire surface, 8 to 10 minutes. Cook 30 seconds longer; remove from heat.

Add chocolate and butter, and whisk until melted and fully incorporated. Whisk in vanilla. Pour filling into cooled pie crust. Press lightly greased parchment paper against surface of filling and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until filling is firmly set, at least 2 1/2 hours or up to 24 hours. Spread whipped cream attractively over chilled pie and serve.

Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:

Calories 375 Fat 25 g Sodium 190 mg Carbohydrates 32 g Saturated fat 14 g Added sugars 12 g Protein 6 g Cholesterol 44 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 carb, 1 medium-fat protein, 4 fat.

 

Whipped Cream

Makes about 2 cups.

Note: Whipping the ingredients on medium-low speed to start ensures that the sugar, vanilla and salt are evenly dispersed in the cream before you increase the mixer speed to achieve soft peaks. From “Everything Chocolate,” by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen.

• 1 c. heavy cream, chilled

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• Pinch of salt

Directions

Using a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream, sugar, vanilla and salt on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.

Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. (Whipped cream can be refrigerated in fine-mesh strainer set over small bowl and covered with plastic wrap for up to 8 hours.)

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:

Calories 47 Fat 5 g Sodium 15 mg Carbohydrates 1 g Saturated fat 3 g Added sugars 1 g Protein 0 g Cholesterol 17 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 fat.