Top | Art of the Slow Cooker
(recipe, Andrew Schloss)
A pudding cake is a definitively American, decidedly homey dessert, in which a cake batter is topped with some sort of syrup and then baked. In the alchemical atmosphere of the slow cooker, the cake part rises up through the syrup, or maybe it's the syrup that sinks down through the cake. But at any rate, the exchange produces a moist, brownie-like cake resting on a swamp of chocolate pudding. To serve it, scoop up some cake with its pudding foundation and eat it with a spoon.
For a more grown-up version, replace half the boiling water or coffee with liquor, such as brandy. Culinate editor's notes: If you don't own a soufflé dish, you can bake this dessert simply by spreading the batter out inside the baking dish of a large slow cooker. (Oil the inside of the baking dish first.) Because the batter is spread more thinly, however, the pudding cake will finish cooking much more quickly, about 1 1/2 hours total. If you don't own a slow cooker, simply arrange the batter and topping in a buttered or greased 8-inch-square baking dish. Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream on top, if desired. You may also wish to up the chocolate quotient by melting some chopped chocolate (chocolate chips are fine; try 1/2 cup to start) and stirring it into the cake batter or pouring it over the top of the cake.