"It’s a rainy Wednesday, and you’ve had a long day. That chocolate craving hits and this is what you turn to. Hot Chocolate & Halva Pudding is my mid-week indulgence that is the best accompaniment to a Netflix catch-up while curled on the sofa. This isn’t anything like what you’d call a pudding in the United States and instead has a similar texture to a steamed cake served piping hot. The cake crust is thick yet so soft it gives easily as you sink your spoon inside. Underneath lies a pool of chocolate gold produced by what can only be magic and is flecked with crumbly pieces of sesame halva—a dense Middle Eastern candy. This is best served as soon as it exits the oven, while the chocolate sauce is still swimming. And if you’ve had a really bad day, add a scoop of ice cream for good measure."
'Reprinted with permission from The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Holly Wulff Petersen'
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a deep 9 x 12–inch (23 x 31–cm) baking dish.
To make the cake, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt to a large bowl and whisk to break up any lumps. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, egg, butter and vanilla and pour this into the flour mixture. Stir until the batter is smooth and without large lumps. Gently fold in the chopped halva and chocolate chips before pouring the batter into the prepared dish. Set aside.
To make the sauce, add the cocoa powder, sugar, boiling water and espresso powder to a medium bowl and stir together with a fork, removing any lumps.
Pour the liquid carefully on top of the cake batter—it will look very strange at this point, but don’t worry or try to mix it in. Bake for 28 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is puffy and just set. There’ll be a pool of chocolate sauce underneath once you break the crust. Serve hot.
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