Wednesday, February 14, 2007

~February Cooking with Washington Wines~

Ahh - Valentine's Day! When I think of February 14, it makes me think of chocolate. So, I thought it appropriate that my recipe for February should be something chocolatey and gooey.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an impromptu dinner party. A simple party of homemade minestrone soup (made with leftover primerib and stock from the bones) and freshly baked, from scratch, cheese and garlic biscuits. About a half hour before my guests arrived, I realized I needed some sort of dessert. My cupboards were looking a bit lean of dessert ideas and then I remembered a dessert my mother use to make a lot -- Hot Fudge Chocolate Cake! It is an old Betty Crocker stand-by from the 1950-60's era with very simple ingredients. If you have simple baking ingredients, plus cocoa powder, then you can make this dessert in no time. It's a chocolate cake that makes it's own fudge sauce -- like chocolate magic! Best served warm with whipped or ice cream on top. My guests and I enjoyed this rich dessert with Washington Merlots from Woodward Canyon and Forgeron Cellars. Any rich and robust Merlot or even Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc is going to make a perfect pairing with this dessert. Enjoy!

Hot Fudge Chocolate Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped nuts, optional
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Mix the flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Pour in the milk and oil and blend. Stir in the nuts, if desired. Pour into an ungreased 9x9x2-inch square pan. Stir the brown sugar and cocoa together and sprinkle over the cake batter. Pour the hot water over the batter.

Place dessert into oven carefully. Bake at 350-degrees F. for 45 minutes. While hot, cut into squares; invert each square onto a dessert plate and spoon sauce over the cake. Enjoy!

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