So, here we are, sitting under the fluorescent lights because it's already gloomy-gray outside at just 4:30 in the afternoon. We, the Web team here at King Arthur Flour, are still trying to “fall back” from Daylight Savings Time, getting used to the sun sidling low around the horizon each day before finally—resignedly—setting late in the afternoon. Before we even leave work. So that we trudge out to our cars in darkness. Sigh.

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Here's the late-afternoon view out the window. The trees on the hill behind the school across the street have lost their bright leaves; they look like an old sepia photo, where before they were pure Kodachrome.

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Here's Jim, our Web architect; and Janet, our designer. Jim doesn't realize winter is descending; he gives up on summer with great reluctance.

So, I'm sitting here writing copy for the next catalogue when a sudden fit of ennui propels me from my chair into the kitchen. On days when I'm writing instead of baking, I often get a terrible itch, late in the day, to MAKE something. The siren song of chocolate and butter brings me down the hall to the kitchen, where my hand automatically turns the oven dial to 350°F and I reach for my mixer bowl.

But not today. Since I'd been writing about the Zojirushi bread machine (my best kneading friend), I'd started remembering all the things you can use the Zo for, beyond bread. In fact, a few years ago I wrote a recipe booklet, “Beyond Bread,” that my mom uses to this day (thanks, Mom!) She makes soup, porridge, scalloped potatoes, rice pudding... all manner of non-bread treats.

I thought about chocolate... and the Zo... and fudge cake. And I was drawn away from the oven, away from the mixing bowl, and instead to the bread machine. From which, 1 hour later, I triumphantly pulled a Fudge Pudding Cake, which I served to my fellow Webbies amidst great acclaim. Jim devoured it. Janet swooned. Halley NEVER refuses chocolate, especially when it's warm. Tracy... Well, Tracy, you went home while it was still light and you missed it. But don't worry; we saved you a bowlful for tomorrow.

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Whisk together the cake batter, and pour it into the Zo's bucket (sans kneading paddles).

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Brown sugar, cocoa, and espresso powder go on top.

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Drizzle hot water over all.

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Program for a 40-minute bake. After the bake, let it rest for 20 minutes. OK, admittedly it's not the handsomest cake in the world.

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But dig in with a spoon, and scoop out a bite of tender cake dripping with fudge sauce... There's no better remedy for a late Wednesday afternoon in early November.

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Fudge Pudding Cake from your Zojirushi.

Filed Under: Recipes
PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!