A year or two ago, I never would have made this cake. Since I was a kid, I've disliked rich chocolate desserts. You could catch me eating junky milk chocolate bars or Reese's peanut butter cups, but I would turn my nose up at chocolate cake and eat around the chocolate chips in cookies. These days I generally stay away from junky candy (I had an epiphany when a friend of mine saw a squashed Reese's peanut butter cup on the street and thought of me - this was a shockingly recent development) though I certainly don't let Easter go by without a Cadbury Creme Egg or two, or five.
However, my disgust for rich chocolate cakes and other desserts is still going strong, particularly for cakes made with actual chocolate and not cocoa. This cake pushed my boundaries. I did like it, kind of, but in very small quantities given its richness and sweetness. It is sweeter and more chocolatey that I care for... but hey, I'm kind of a freak like that.
This cake was inspired by Peabody, but based on my usual Canadian Living chocolate pudding cake recipe. I'm not going to lie - I was hoping for gooey white ribbons of marshmallowey goodness a la Haagen Dasz rocky road ice cream, and that did not happen. The marshmallows definitely had an effect on the cake though, they melted into the sauce and became chocolate marshmallow goo. They gave the whole cake a spongier and more pillowy texture.
I put the almonds in the cake itself just so I could call it rocky road. Honestly, they are nicest sprinkled over the top. I served this with unsweetened vanilla whipped cream to help cut the sweetness.
rocky road pudding cake
adapted from Canadian Living's Chocolate Pudding Cake
1 cup of water, boiling
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup whole natural almonds, roughly bashed and toasted, plus additional for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8", 2 litre cake pan or baking dish. Loosely spread one cup of marshmallows as well as the almonds on the bottom of the dish.
In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking powder.
In a small bowl, stir together sugar, milk, egg, oil and vanilla. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until incorporated. Spread the batter over the marshmallows and almonds, then add the remaining 1/2 cup of marshmallows on top.
In another small bowl, make the topping. Whisk together the boiling water, cocoa and brown sugar until dissolved. Pour the topping gently over the batter and marshmallows (they'll float, but get 'em wet!). Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.