I never have company drop in at the last minute. I always read magazine articles that give you "tips" on what to keep in your house to feed people that stop in unexpectedly and you are supposed to whip up cocktails, coffee or dessert. "Keep a jar of olives, salted almonds, roasted red peppers, anchovies and Triscuits and you can whip up three tasty appetizers in 3 minutes" is what the articles tell you to do. Or keep homemade cookie dough balls in the freezer, and you can have freshly baked cookies when a friend shows up (unannounced) for coffee in the afternoon. Maybe I give off the vibe of "Don't stop by unannounced, or I won't answer the door", but people never stop by my home without prior notice. I have never in "dropped by" anyone's house without an invitation. Well, even if someone drops by unannounced, I would probably not turn them away. Especially since I have the perfect recipe for last minute guests!
Even though I may not like people in my house without at least a weeks notice, I have little control over the other members of my family bringing guests. Joey brought home, what seemed like, half of the freshman lacrosse team last week. Teenage boys require a lot of food at the end of the day! That required some last minute preparation and creativity, but I believe that no one left the house hungry.
Phil especially likes when people show up in time for a pre-dinner glass of wine and some cheese and crackers. That almost always turns into a quick, subtle whisper to me, "Do we have enough food to invite them to dinner?" Duh! I'm a Jewish Mother! I always cook enough food for 20 people (whether I am serving 2 or 12). No one leaves my house hungry....EVER!
The snag is that I rarely make "dessert" when dinner is just the four of us who live here. Every once in a while I surprise Phil and the kids with something fun and special, but dessert is usually some frozen yogurt or a cup of hot cocoa. When I have company, I always make dessert. So when we have last minute company, I have to come up with a quick dessert....really quick! That is where this recipe comes in. I got it from my friends, Jonathan and Lori, who are quickly becoming an excellent source of new recipes for me. I think I already posted their Chocolate Lava Cakes, and if I haven't the recipe is coming soon.
This is the type of recipe that honestly has the type of ingredients you can keep in your pantry at all times. Cake mix, instant pudding and chocolate chips. That's all you have to keep track of! The rest of the ingredients are oil, eggs and vanilla. Who doesn't have that on hand all of the time? The cake can be in your oven in 5 minutes (I timed it), and ready to eat in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Just remember to replenish your pantry ingredients when you bake the cake!
In case you are wondering how good this cake could possibly be.... it is very good. Moist, rich and lots of chocolate flavor. It does not taste like you threw it together in 5 minutes, nor does it taste like it comes from 3 boxes. Plus, how awesome do you look that you are serving your last minute dinner guests a warm, homemade chocolate cake, right from the oven, for dessert?
P.S. Don't forget to vote!!!!!!
1 pkg. yellow deluxe cake mix
2 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1/2 c. oil (I use canola)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. water
12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick baking spray.
Mix all ingredients, except chips, in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
Add in bag of chocolate chips and stir well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 1 hour.
Cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.