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CHOCOLATE WEEK: DOUBLE CHOCOLATE GOOEY BUTTER CAKE

There are people -- the author of this recipe newsletter among them -- who feel that dessert is not worth the trouble or calories if it does not involve chocolate. In honor of those people, we offer a week of indulgent chocolate recipes. This one comes from the Southern queen of indulgence, Food TV's Paula Deen.

INGREDIENTS

Butter, for greasing pan, plus 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, melted (divided)

1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix

1 egg, plus 2 eggs

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped nuts

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter, and stir until well blended. Pat mixture into prepared pan and set aside. In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs and the cocoa powder. Lower the speed of the mixer, and add the powdered sugar.

Continue beating until ingredients are well mixed. Slowly add the remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of melted butter, and the vanilla, continuing to beat the mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts with a rubber spatula. Spread filling over cake mixture in pan.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the cake; the center should still be a little gooey when finished baking. Let cake partially cool on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.

Makes 20-24 servings.

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