If you’re like me, you grew up thinking of “pudding” as the Jell-o brand cornstarch concoction that came in chocolate, vanilla, and butterscotch flavors. Of course, that is a comforting option, but I now know that the term “pudding” can refer to a wide variety of dishes, both baked and boiled, savory and sweet. Perusing old cookbooks I have found an astonishing variety of puddings, and winter is a great time to give them a go.
I figured something called “Hot Fudge Pudding” couldn’t be bad, and it’s not at all. I got the recipe from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook (1950), and it is described as both “rich tasting” as well as “easy to make Nd “inexpensive”. While it is very tasty, it’s not particularly rich. It contains no eggs, and very little shortening. The result is a dense cakey top, with a smooth pudding bottom, that serves as a sauce when sliced and flipped over onto a plate. Whipped cream topping really brings it home, by lending its creaminess to the very chocolatey pudding.
As I often find with older recipes, the serving sizes seem very small. This recipe makes a 9 inch square pan, and it says it serve 9. That’s only 1 square inch per person! I guess that’s why Betty looks so great after all these years!
History: According to “foodtimeline.org” our English word “pudding” is derived from the French word “boudin”. The idea of a pudding goes back to ancient Roman times when haggis-like concoctions were boiled in animal stomachs. While haggis continues to be a thing, the English took the idea further and made special “pudding bags” to boil their puddings and expanded on the variety of types of puddings. This dish is a far-cry from haggis.
Time and Effort: Very easy to throw together. Needs to bake about 45 minutes and is best served warm.
Worth adding to your repertoire: Yes!
Hot Fudge Pudding:
Sift together into bowl:
1 Cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa
Stir in: 1/2 Cup milk
2 Tbsp. melted shortening
Blend in 1 cup chopped nuts
Spread in 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with mixture of 1 cup brown sugar and 4 tbsp. cocoa. Pour over entire batter: 1 3/4 Cup hot water. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Invert squares onto dessert plates. Dip sauce from pan over each. Or the entire pudding can be inverted into a deep serving platter. Serve warm with whipped cream.