Ever since we got married, my husband and I celebrate Valentine's Day at home. We'd rather go out another night when restaurants aren't as crowded and in a hurry to seat the next party and prices aren't inflated because of the holiday. To celebrate at home, I always fix something special for supper. This year, my husband and son both asked if I would fix Grilled Peppered Steaks. My husband would love Chocolate Covered Cherries for dessert, while our son would prefer a Peanut Butter Pie with a Magic Shell chocolate topping. Unfortunately, my son doesn't like cherries and my husband doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter combined. I don't have time to make both so I decided to keep it simple and just make something chocolate.
My mother found the recipe for Chocolate Cobbler in the newspaper in the early 1990's. The name is misleading because it doesn't use fruit like most cobbler recipes, but like a cobbler it only has one crust. I've seen the recipe called by other names including, "Pudding Cake," "Fudge Cake" and "Brownie Pudding."
Usually when I serve dessert, it's something that can be made ahead of time and served cold or at room temperature. Chocolate Cobbler, though, is best served hot from the oven. To make it less stressful at the end of the day when I'm cooking supper, I measure the cobbler ingredients ahead of time. By the time supper's on the table, I've got the cobbler mixed up and ready to go in the oven. By the time supper's over, the cobbler is ready to eat.
The cobbler starts by combining sugar, cocoa, milk, oil and self-rising flour.
Self-rising flour is a time saver because it already has the leavener and salt added. If you don't have self-rising flour, you can make your own. For 1 cup self-rising flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup all-purpose flour.
Once the cobbler ingredients are combined, spread them in a greased 8 or 9-inch square pan.
Combine cocoa and brown sugar in a bowl and sprinkle the mixture over the cobbler ingredients.
Unlike white sugar, brown sugar needs to be firmly packed into the measuring cup. If you need to know how to do this, or want to know why, you can read about it here.
The final ingredient is hot -- not boiling -- water. Turn the hot water on and let it run until the faucet feels hot to the touch. Measure the water in a liquid measuring cup and pour it slowly over the brown sugar mixture. Do not stir the water with the other ingredients!
Put the pan in the oven and bake the cobbler for 45 minutes. When you remove the cobbler from the oven, you'll see that the batter has risen to the top and made a crust. The cocoa and brown sugar mixture melts and turns the hot water into a delicious chocolate sauce underneath the crust!
Scoop the cobbler into a serving dish, making sure to spoon some of the sauce over the top. The cobbler is good plain, but it's even better topped with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For a truly decadent dessert, substitute chocolate ice cream for the vanilla!
Chocolate Cobbler is a tasty way to celebrate Valentine's Day, but it's also a great dessert to serve year round. It's delicious, easy to mix up and, since it doesn't use eggs, chances are you've got the ingredients on hand. To be on the safe side, though, you might want to keep some ice cream in the freezer!