8-12, depending on serving size
butter or margarine
self-rising flour (see step 2 below for substitution.)
unsweetened cocoa powder
4TH LAYER (OPTIONAL)
walnuts or pecans, optional
whipped cream, ice cream, and/or sliced strawberries would be nice
1Start oven pre-heating to 350 degrees F. Put the stick of butter in a 13 x 9" baking dish and melt in the oven while it's preheating.
2**If you don't have self-rising flour, stir 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder & 3/4 teaspoon salt into the 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix well & continue with Step 2.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the self-rising flour & sugar. Stir the vanilla extract into the milk, then pour into the flour & sugar mixture. Stir together well. Set aside.
3Put the sugar & cocoa powder into a small bowl. Stir together well with a fork until evenly mixed. Set aside.
4If you're adding the nuts, measure them out & break up the bigger pieces, if you like. Set aside.
5Measure out two cups of water & microwave for 3 minutes until boiling.
6By now, the butter should be melted. Carefully pour the batter as evenly as possible over the melted butter. DO NOT STIR!
7Sprinkle the sugar & cocoa powder mixture evenly over the batter. Again, DO NOT STIR!
8Sprinkle the nuts over the sugar & cocoa powder mixture. DO NOT STIR!
9Finally, CAREFULLY pour the boiling water SLOWLY over the contents of the baking dish, being careful not to mix up all the ingredients. OK, I have to say it one more time... DO NOT STIR!
10Gently place the baking dish into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cake peeking through the chocolate sauce/pudding has a nice golden brown crust.
11Remove from the oven and TRY to allow it to "set" for about 15 minutes, so that the chocolate sauce thickens a bit into a thin pudding. (If you can't wait that long, I won't tell!)
12Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. It's also good with sliced strawberries. =^..^=