Feb 22, 2010
I have a burgeoning collection of NordicWare cake pans, but I drew the line at purchasing the stadium cake pan. I have no plans to have a Super Bowl party, because we rarely watch the Super Bowl, and, when we do, it's only to root for the underdog, which is generally not that satisfying. But when Woody offered to lend me his pan, and it was Jim's turn to host the neighborhood poker club, it seemed like a karmic merger of the chocolate-double-whammy elements.
It's another Rose Special--a two-day affair, with several different elements and a multitude of steps, but I'm so accustomed to it now that it barely gives me pause.
Day one: make the Fudgy Pudgy brownies. Frankly, the name "fudgy pudgy" does not pass my presidential dessert name test. Say the president and his wife come to dinner. Say everything has gone well so far. It's time for dessert. You serve it. The president dives in, smiles, and asks what it is. "Well, President Obama, these are Fudgy Pudgy brownies." No, it just won't do. The Secret Service men are snickering. "Double whammy" is bad enough, but "double whammy with fudgy pudgy"--nope.
That being said, these brownies are awfully good. Indeed, they're so fudgy that I understand the urge to make "fudgy" part of the name.
The brownies start with a mixture of unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, white chocolate, and butter, all melted together. I've made cocoa brownies and I've made brownies with unsweetened chocolate, but I've never used both. I expect the white chocolate adds a little sweetness without being too sugary.
The dry ingredients and the walnuts (optional, but I recommend them unless you hate nuts), are stirred in, making a very thick batter, which goes in a square pan, lined with parchment and surrounded with a cake strip.
After just a half hour, you have a pan of brownies that looks good enough to be dessert in its own right, but, of course, you're not done yet.
Day Two: Make the chocolate cake, which is just called "batter," and doesn't have its own cute name. This is a nice sour cream and cocoa cake, which is probably quite good in its own right, although I didn't taste it alone. Here it is before you start adding cut-up brownies to it.
And here is the big pile of cut-up brownies that you add to the batter:
Cutting the pan of brownies into quarter-inch squares is the most time-consuming part of the project. It's one of those things that takes much longer than you think it will and ends up driving you crazy if you're a person of little patience.
And stirring all these little pieces into the batter is the most physically challenging because it's a big bowl, a ton of brownie pieces, and it's hard for a wimpy person to go all the way down to the bottom of the bowl and try to make sure that every little brownie piece is covered in batter.
The mixture goes into the stadium pan (you can also use a tube pan, but then you can't call it a stadium cake), and has to be tamped down so that it doesn't leave holes and bubbles at the bottom of the pan.
As it bakes, it goes up over the top of the pan, and you worry that that may be a problem, and that it won't unmold properly, but it's okay.
It was hard to get a picture of the interior of the cake so you can actually see the pieces of brownie suspended in the cake. This is the best shot:
I was lucky I got home in time to have a piece myself. It was better than I expected. I thought it was more a showpiece for the stadium pan, but it was an excellent chocolate cake. I agree with the anonymous taster who loved the nuggets inside. I may not have liked the name "fudgy pudgy," but I did like the results.
Jim was crazy about this cake. In fact, I think it's the first one I've made that he told me I couldn't take into work. (I think that night of macho poker-playing put him in an assertive mood).
The Garfield Avenue Poker Group
“It’s a giant brownie.”
“It would have been better if served by the Dallas cheerleaders.” (Jim thinks this was aimed at me).
“I like the crunchy outside and soft inside.” (Jim says there was some dissent about the outside; most liked it, but the dissenters thought it was "too dry" or "too hard." He said that everyone liked the middle.)
“Rich; creamy in the middle.”
“It had the right amount of nuts.”
“I like the nuggets.”
Posted by Marie at 12:01 AM