Adapted from: Still Life with Menu
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 30 to 35 minutes to bake
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
This dessert is fashioned after one of my mother's
specialties that she would make about once a year (usually when a
grade school teacher came over for lunch). It is a soft, moist
chocolate cake with a built-in puddinglike fudge sauce that ends up
- Chocolate Eclipse tastes best about an hour or two after it has
emerged from the oven. For an ultimate experience, serve it with
vanilla ice cream.
NOTE: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can replace
it with an equivalent amount of sour milk (2 cups milk plus 2
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
21/2 cups unbleached white flour
21/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
21/2 cups boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking
- Melt the butter and chocolate together.
- In a separate saucepan, heat buttermilk gently until just a
little warmer than body temperature (don't boil or cook it). Remove
from heat, and combine with chocolate mixture and vanilla.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar,
baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well (use your hands, if
necessary) to break up any little lumps of brown sugar, making as
uniform a mixture as possible. Stir in chocolate chips, if
- Pour in the wet ingredients, and stir until well combined.
Spread into the prepared pan.
- Combine the remaining 11/4 cups brown sugar with the
unsweetened cocoa in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture as evenly
as possible over the top of the batter.
- Pour on the boiling water. It will look terrible, and you will
not believe you are actually doing this, but try to persevere.
- Place immediately in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 40
minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Invert each
serving on a plate so that the fudge sauce on the bottom becomes a
topping. Serve hot or at room temperature.