Stir together 1 cup brown sugar, flour and 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt.
Whisk the milk, melted butter and vanilla.
Spread over bottom of crockpot.
Mix remaining 3/4 cups brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder and almonds (if desired).
Sprinkle evenly on top of the batter.
Pour in the hot water, but do not stir.
Cover and cook until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 2 hours on high.
NOTE: Do not cook on low for a longer period of time.
Spoon the warm pudding into individual bowls and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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