Spring {break} has sprung.

Time for beach-ing and sea spray and hardback books. Time for sorbet denim and straw hats.  Time to laugh and catch up.  Time to relax.

Oh, and time to make a chocolate cake.

This decadence, though, is not just any chocolate cake.

It is simultaneously super-fudgy and airily light.  Its covered in thick fudge icing, scattered with toasty pecans.  It is made in one bowl, with one spoon, in just thirty little minutes.

It is the epitome of a comfort-food dessert.

#makethisNOW

Start by stirring together some flour and sugar.

In a separate saucepan, melt together some butter, cocoa powder, and water.  Heat until the mixture boils.

Remove from heat.  Note that extreme spring break sunburn combined with the steam facial exuded by a boiling cocoa-ish mixture is unabashedly unpleasant.  Baker beware.

Mix in, um, everything else.  See… easiest cake ever!

Pour everything into a greased 9×13″ pan.  Bake at 350 for 30-ish minutes.  Wait patiently.

With about 5 minutes of baking time left for the cake, start making the proverbial – and literal- icing on the cake.

Combine some butter, cocoa, and milk in a medium saucepan (just rinse out the one you used earlier!) and bring to a boil… Remove from the heat and stir in a box of powdered sugar until the mixture is combined and smooth.  Stir in a little vanilla and some chopped pecans, then pour the whole thing over the hot cake — pronto!

(Since this is kind of a cooked icing of sorts, it will harden quickly, hence the need to pour it on the cake muy rápidamente… instead of using a spatula to spread, swirl the pan around a bit to make sure all the corners are covered!)

The next crucial step is to place the cooling cake strategically in your kitchen… positioned perhaps on the stove or the obscure back of your counter.  This slyness exudes the effortless charm this cake is all about….

i.e. company visits –> your house smells like Willy Wonka has taken over –> “What is that? It smells sooo good!” –> “Oh, you mean this crazy delicious chocolate thing sitting back here unassumingly?  Just something I whipped up!”

#marthamoment

Seriously, though, whoever you serve this to will feel totally special.  And loved.  And full.

Chocolate fudge cake…. I think I love you.

30-Minute Chocolate Fudge Cake

for the cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 cup water
- 5 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, water, and cocoa over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and pour over the flour/sugar mixture. Mix well. Add eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla. Pour into a well-greased 9×13 pan, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

for the fudge icing
- 1 stick butter
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, milk, and cocoa and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, stirring well with a whisk or wooden spoon until the sugar melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla and pecans, then pour over hot cake.

{serves 12 to 16}