Espresso Fudge Cake for Katniss

Tonight is the premiere of the Hunger Games.
Oh heck yes I read those books.
And loved every second of that carnivorous love triangle.

The Hunger Games are a perfect rebound series after the epic conclusion (and sorrowful breakup) of the Harry Potter phenomenon. I started book numero uno on my avian journey to DC and almostdidn’t want the flight to end. And, since I’ve become the rightful devotee my roommates could appreciate, we all had a t-shirt-making cake-eating hoo ha in celebration of the film.

Just in case you were wondering, Katniss, the main character, in fact feasts on a delectable chocolate cake during her first night away from District 12 while on the road to, well, presumed death. I also recall a few appearances by some sort of drool worthy hot chocolate that ignited the desire for a cyclops-sized mug of Swiss Miss with some molten chocolate lava on the side. I think this cake in particular combines those two sensations quite nicely.

What gives this cake that gooey sensation is a lovely cup of strong coffee, saturated with brown sugar. After the batter is made and placed in its proper pan, slowly pour the hot coffee over the top and pop it in the oven- it gives the cake an incredibly moist interior while leaving the top fluffy and sponge like.

Even if you’ve never picked up the Hunger Games, this is great to serve at any event, topped with a little ice cream for a perfect evening pick-me-up. Let the baking games begin!

Espresso Fudge Cake
Yield: 12 servings          Prep Time: 20 minutes          Bake Time: 25 minutes.

Ingredients:
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups hot strong coffee

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, egg, oil and vanilla in separate bowl.
3. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients and gradually pour in the milk mixture, stirring until combined. Spoon into the prepared pan, spread evenly, and top with chocolate chips.
4. Dissolve brown sugar in hot coffee and spoon over batter.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes and serve warm. Ice cream encouraged.

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