Chocolate Spice-Cake Pudding

Chocolate Spice-Cake Pudding
Replacing bread with chocolate spice cake adds richness and dark chocolate flavor to this pudding.Guy Kloppenburg

We created this intense "bread pudding" using chocolate spice cake instead of bread and baked it in a Charlotte mold with a custard adapted from a recipe in Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Random House, 1991). We like to cover this cake with rich, dark chocolate sauce. This recipe accompanied Elizabeth Schneider's September/October 1995 feature, "Where the Chocolate Tree Blooms," about cacao in Venezuela.

Chocolate Spice-Cake Pudding
We created this intense "bread pudding" using chocolate spice cake instead of bread and baked it in a Charlotte mold with a custard adapted from a recipe in Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Random House, 1991).
Yield: serves 10

For the Cake

  • 10 tbsp. butter
  • 2 12 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 12 tsp. ground ginger
  • 12 tsp. salt
  • 12 tsp. ground cloves
  • 12 tsp. dry mustard
  • 12 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dark or light molasses
  • 1 cup strong coffee, cooled
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the Custard and Serving

  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Chocolate-Sauce">Chocolate Sauce</a>

Instructions

  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a jelly roll pan with 1 tbsp. of the butter; set aside. Sift flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard, and pepper together into a medium bowl. Beat sugar and remaining 9 tbsp. butter together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then molasses. Mix in one-third of the flour mixture, then one-third of the coffee; repeat process twice. Beat in chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until top springs back when touched, about 15 minutes. Set aside to let cool.
  2. For the custard: Melt chocolate with milk and cream in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Set aside to let cool. Whisk eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl, whisk into milk mixture, and set aside.
  3. Cut parchment paper to fit sides and bottom of a 13-cup charlotte mold. Grease mold with half the remaining butter, line with paper, and grease with remaining butter. Cut a circle of cake to fit bottom of mold and press into bottom. Cut 7 more pieces into flared "planks", about 1" × 2" × 3 1⁄2". Place in mold wide end up, leaving 3⁄4" spaces in between, as if making a crown. Cut remaining cake into irregular squares and place inside crown. Pour custard over cake pieces. Bake for 70 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 45–60 minutes.
  4. To serve: Invert cake onto a plate and unmold. Pour half the Chocolate Sauce over cake and serve the remaining sauce on the side.