These are a few of my favorite things…

The Superbowl is one of the few days of the year that I am not a complete pain in the rear (in my husband’s eyes) about making sure we eat healthy.  Normally if we cheat with dessert we will at least have a low fat, healthy dinner.  The big game is his night to request whatever he wants.  Well this year we didn’t go quite as crazy as prior Superbowl’s but we certainly had our share.

The menu included Buffalo Chicken Taquito’s, Baked Ham & Cheese Sliders, Chicken Nuggets and Waffle Fries, oh and a…salad LOL.  I snuck that right in there.  I had to find a way to fit some veggies in.  We had I a citrus and roasted beet salad with a dijon vinaigrette – he loved it!

As I was preparing for it all I really cared about was making a decedent chocolate dessert.  My brother in law recently mentioned that he loves a good chocolate cake with a nice mousse.  This idea got my taste buds in motion.  I decided to combine a few of my favorite things and my, oh, my, was it yummy!  It starts with a chocolate pecan crust.  I have to admit the pecans were a last resort because I didn’t realize I was low on chocolate graham cracker but I was so happy with the result that it will be my new go to crust.  The next layer is a chocolate cake which is from another three layer cakes recipe that I love.  The pudding layer is a simple homemade chocolate pudding that I make with skim milk.  The skim milk makes the dessert just a tad (teeny tiny tad) less sinful, right?  Top it off with some homemade whipped cream and call it a day!

Chocolate Pudding Cake with Chocolate Pecan Crust

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DSCN1297CHOCOLATE PECAN COOKIE CRUST

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups chocolate graham crackers (about 1 1/2 sleeves)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch spring-form pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place cookies and pecans in the bowl of a food processor; process to fine crumbs. Add melted butter and mix until combined.

Pour crumb mixture into prepared pan and press evenly into bottom and up sides, leaving about 1/2 inch between the top of the crust and top of the pan. Bake until dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool.

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CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee (decaf was used in this recipe) dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, plus 2 egg whites, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.

DSCN1310Add a couple of inches of water to a pan and place a heat safe glass bowl over the pan to create a double boiler.  Be sure the water is not high enough to reach the bottom of the bowl.  Add the chocolate and butter to the bowl and bring the water to a simmer.  Stir occasionally, until melted and combined well.  Remove from heat and allow it to cool a bit.

In a small bowl, whisk together espresso powder, coffee, salt, and vanilla; set aside.

In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with sugar until light and almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add the coffee mixture and beat until combined.

Add melted chocolate mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low speed for another 5-10 seconds.

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DSCN1321In a separate bowl beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually increase speed to high beating until soft peaks form.

Transfer 1 cup egg white mixture to chocolate mixture and gently fold using a spatula to combine. Add remaining egg whites and continue gently folding until they are almost completely combined; do not over mix. Pour into cooled cookie crust and bake until cake is set but still jiggles slightly, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely. The center of the cake will deflate quite a bit in the center as it cools. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

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CHOCOLATE PUDDING

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (skim was used in this recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent)

In a medium bowl add butter, vanilla, and chocolate and set aside.

In a medium saucepan add sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk together until it creates a paste. Add egg yolks and whisk until combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and mix until combined.

Place the saucepan over medium heat whisking constantly to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Cook until bubbles form around the edge.  Continuing stirring another 1-2 minutes. Immediately pour the pudding mixture over the butter and chocolate.  Whisk until combined and cooled slightly. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate 3 hours.

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Once cooled, stir pudding to loosen and spread on top of cake. Do not spread it all the way to the edge of the cake layer. The cake layer will help to hold the cakes form when you slice it.

WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING

  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 confectionery sugar

Chill a mixing bowl and whisk attachment for mixer in the freezer.  Once chilled, add the whipping cream and beat until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Be careful not to over beat. Spread whipped cream over chilled pudding layer.

Remove band from spring-form pan, transfer to a platter – Serve and enjoy!

I wish I had better pictures of the finished product but I couldn’t wait to eat it.  You will just need to take my word for it – YUM!  Creamy, chocolaty, decadent – YUM

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