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.
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
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.