Warm and gooey Chocolate Cobbler features moist chocolate cake floating on top of a caramel-streaked, coffee-laced, molten chocolate sauce!
We've all enjoyed cobbler before, right? Whether we're talking blackberry, blueberry, peach, or whatever your personal favorite may be, cobbler typically involves a fruity filling crowned with some sort of cakey or biscuit-ish topping.
But Chocolate Cobbler? That's served all warm and gooey? Ohhhhh, YES. Mark my words...you'll never think of cobbler the same way again.
So to create this culinary masterpiece, the first step is to whip up a quick, basic, one-bowl chocolate cake batter.
In the meantime, cocoa powder and two kinds of sugar are melted into some strong, black coffee.
Now even if you're not a fan of coffee, it can do magical things to chocolate desserts. Coffee brings out a deeper, richer flavor in chocolate, and most of the time people can't even identify that there's coffee in there. I do think that this dessert has a slight coffee undertone, but nobody in my family seemed to mind. My kids scarfed down this Chocolate Cobbler without hesitation, and I can assure you that they are not known to be fans of coffee. 😉
After the cake batter is made and the coffee mixture is warming, it's time to unwrap the magical secret ingredients: Riesen chocolate candies!
Have y'all ever had these little bad boys? Oh my goodness...addictive would be the first word that pops into my head. Riesens are chewy chocolate caramels covered in a thin layer of rich chocolate. Seeing as how I have a hard time stopping at 20, it's a pity they're individually wrapped, since the wad of candy wrappers in the trash gives me away every time.
I got the idea to blog about this Chocolate Cobbler while walking past a giant bag of Riesens in the grocery store one day. I didn't have the recipe handy, but I knew that 2 pounds of candy should be more than enough...and if necessary, I suppose I could figure out a way to somehow use up the leftovers.
Fast forward to later that night, when I wasn't quite ready to make this dessert. But surely I could open the bag and sneak just *one* chewy chocolate caramel, right? I mean, there were more than enough.
Well, one turned into five turned into FIFTEEN.
So before I managed to decimate the whole bag, I had to staple it shut and hide it under some other packages at the very back of the pantry. And thanks to that excellent, adult-like display of self-control, I am now able to bring you this stunning masterpiece of chocolate euphoria!
This recipe actually originated from one of those little paperback cookbooks that you find on a rack above the magazines at the grocery store checkout line. When I graduated from college, my mom passed down to me some of her old cookbooks, and the little treasure that yielded this recipe was among then.
My fellow teacher roommate and I discovered it one day when hunting for a chocolate fix, and it became an immediate favorite of two early 20-somethings who didn't yet boast a lot of cooking experience. But warm Chocolate Cobbler??? That we could figure out!
How to Make Chocolate Cobbler
Putting the recipe together is pretty simple.
- Scatter your Riesen candies over the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch baking dish.
- Pour the chocolate cake batter on top.
- Then carefully pour the warm coffee mixture all over the top. It's going to look like a flooded, soupy mess, but DO NOT STIR! While the cobbler bakes, the cake will rise to the top and the chocolate caramels and coffee mixture will form a thick, gooey, glossy, pudding-like layer of deliciousness on the bottom. Just like fruit cobbler except, you know, CHOCOLATE.
If you are able to restrain yourself, let the baked cobbler rest for 15 minutes before scooping up a big glob and serving with vanilla ice cream. Because everyone knows that any good warm cobbler should have ice cream melting down over the top!
I've gotten some questions about making substitutions in this recipe. While I have personally only made the recipe as directed, here are some ideas for substitutions that reportedly work...according to others who have tried them or according to similar recipes.
Can I use anything in place of the coffee?
As mentioned earlier, in a recipe like this, coffee serves to accentuate the chocolate flavor more so than stand alone. I find that most people don't even detect any coffee flavor in the final cobbler. However, if you prefer not to use coffee in this recipe, I can't really think of an equivalent substitute aside from plain water.
On the other hand, if you don't already have brewed coffee on hand, you can whip some up quickly by mixing instant coffee granules or espresso powder (per the directions on the jar) into 1 1/2 cups hot water.
Do I have to use Riesen caramels?
If you can't find firm, chewy, chocolate-covered caramels (like Riesens), regular chewy caramel candies (like Kraft) should work instead. (Mary in the Comments section shared that she uses regular unwrapped caramels and they work just fine.)
Can I use a cake mix in this recipe?
Yes! The original recipe actually called for using half of a prepared Devil's Food cake mix for the cake portion. So you could certainly use that instead of the from-scratch modification of my favorite, one-bowl chocolate cake, which is what's listed in this recipe.
The bottom line is that if you like molten chocolate cake, this warm, gooey Chocolate Cobbler is sure to win you over! However, if your grocery store only has that 2 pound bag of Riesens in stock when you get ready to make it, feel free to send the extras my way...because I'm flat out. After all, a stapled, hidden bag doesn't do much good if you're the one who stapled it and hid it.
More Chocolate Favorites
- Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix
- Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies
- Zucchini Fudge Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze
- Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
- 7 ounces Riesen chewy chocolate caramels
FOR CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER:
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as sunflower
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Adjust rack to center position of oven and preheat to 350°F. In a small pot set over medium-low heat, combine cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, and coffee. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugars are dissolved and mixture is hot. Keep warm.
- Unwrap Riesen candies and evenly space on the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch square glass baking dish.
- Prepare cake batter by whisking together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Blend in eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Slowly pour cake batter over candies. Carefully and evenly pour warm coffee mixture over cake batter. DO NOT STIR! Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake layer is firm (the cake will float to the top of the sauce while baking). Cool for 15 minutes before serving warm topped with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Adapted from Best Recipes: Rich & Gooey Dessert Sensations.
Originally published October 28, 2014.