Every couple of months, K (second-born foodie) picks a themed bag at school and brings it home. Each bag contains a journal and whatever materials are needed for the project. After a few weeks, the students bring in their projects and share what they’ve learned. It’s an optional, fun way for the fourth graders to learn a little extra on their own…theoretically. In reality, it’s another assignment to be completed with or without tears.
Recently, our themes have been airplanes, juggling (not a fan, many tears), and art. This time, it’s baking. Specifically, The Best 1001 Short Easy Recipes. Instead of choosing a recipe out of the provided easy recipe book, my little baker chose the not-so-Quick Tunnel of Fudge Cake. I love that K thinks outside the box and wanted to seek out her own recipe; however, I am also a fan of using what is already in the pantry. But K wanted that cake. So I went to the store, and we set out on our chocolate adventure. And there were no tears.
Quick Tunnel of Fudge Cake
1 ½ cups milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) chocolate fudge pudding and pie filling mix (NOT instant)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
Flour for dusting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) devil’s food cake mix with pudding
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sour cream
½ cup water
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped walnuts [we didn’t use these]
Martha’s Chocolate Icing (see below)
- Place the milk in a medium-size saucepan and whisk in the pudding mix. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips and butter. Stir until the pudding is smooth and thickened and the chocolate has melted. Set the pan aside.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.
- Place the cake mix, oil, sour cream, water, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the walnuts, making sure they are well distributed throughout the batter.
- Reserve 2 cups of the batter. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the pudding filling in a ring on top of the batter, making sure it does not touch the sides of the pan. Spoon the reserved batter over the filling, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
- Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more. Make icing while the cake is cooling.
- Place cake on a serving platter and pour warm icing over it. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Martha’s Chocolate Icing
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Place the sugar, butter, and milk in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil, 3 to 4 minutes. Still stirring, let the mixture boil until the sugar dissolves, 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the chocolate chips, and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate has melted.