Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Very easy to make.

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups hot strong coffee

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, egg, oil and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients and gradually pour in the milk mixture, stirring until combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Dissolve brown sugar in coffee; spoon over batter. (I missed this step.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes; serve hot or warm. (It took 35 minutes for this to work for me.) This recipe is originally from Eating Well.

My opinion:
The cake is so so much better warm! It’s not bad. It does need a little something though. It tastes a bit off, but not in a bad way. That might be my fault as I used the good unsweetened cocoa. I would definitely make this again as it was super simple and made the house smell wonderful. Next time though, I will add chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or a raspberry glaze.

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Great Customer Service DOES Exist!

About a year and a half ago, the wonderful coffeemaker my husband and I received for our wedding broke. Not just a little broke, really broke. Big mess. After much research (Thanks, Consumer Reports!) We decided to buy the Black and Decker Smart Brew. It worked beautifully. Coffee was good. We could set it to be ready when we woke up. All around very happy.

It did occasionally over fill when we didn’t put the carafe back in just right or when the coffee filter folded over itself, but nothing dramatic and nothing to make us fall out of love with it. That is until Tuesday morning. Something strange happened. The carafe was in just right, the coffee filter hadn’t folded over itself, but still the whole thing back up.

Not worrying too much about it, my dear husband unplugged the machine and rinsed it out. When I got home, I finished rinsing it out and put in the recommended cleaning solution. When I plugged it in, the entire front panel lit up a la Christmas. Thinking this was not good, I unplugged it and tried another outlet. No dice. I then decided to call Black and Decker. After 45 minutes on hold for an “estimated wait time of five minutes,” I hung up, discouraged and frustrated.

Willing to give it one more try, I called on my way home from work on Wednesday. Given the hold time the day before, I called before I even got on the high way, left it on speaker on the seat next to me and went on my merry way. Imagine my surprise when before I can pull in the driveway a real person answers!

He was very polite and seemed to genuinely want to fix my problem. After some initial trouble shooting, he said to discontinue using my coffeemaker (as if I could!) and they would be sending me a free replacement in seven to 10 days. He said not to dispose of the current one that there would be instructions included with the new one. The entire call took less than 10 minutes.

I was amazed. I didn’t think customer service like this still existed.