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Birthday Dinner, Part XI and Chocolate Cobbler

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From mixed berry cobbler last week to a double-layer chocolate cobbler this week–not a bad trade, aye?

Fresh fruit is all about summer growth and life, and that’s a good thing. Really, it’s a great thing–hooray for summer! hooray for blooming life and hope and fresh opportunities! But sometimes you have to come back down to earth. Sometimes life doesn’t go exactly as planned or hoped. And when that happens, what better thing to turn to than good old chocolate–two layers to boot! There’s plenty of warm reassurance in this dessert. There’s plenty of consolation and comfort. There might even be a bit of indulgence and escapism. See what you think.

Zach and Becca’s life and love, so full of hope and optimism last week, takes an ominous turn in Birthday Dinner, Part XI as an act of vandalism may mark the return of Latonya, vengeful and violent now. Or maybe not–maybe it’s just a random crime. In either case, they could use some reassurance and maybe a little escape. And they find their reassurance and escape not in chocolate (at least not this time) but in each other. Check it out.

chocolate cobbler

Chocolate Cobbler

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder, divided

8 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

5 Tablespoons milk or cream

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed

2/3 cup hot tap water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 5×7 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, coffee granules, 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder, and 4 tablespoons granulated sugar. To this, add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir ingredients together. The batter will be thick. Spread this mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

chocolate cobbler topping

In another small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and the brown sugar. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the batter in the baking dish.

chocolate cobbler

Pour the hot tap water over top of the entire mixture. Do NOT stir ingredients together.

chocolate cobbler with strawberry

Place baking dish on a cookie sheet. Put in oven and bake for 35 minutes. When the cobbler is done, the top will look set and there will still be liquid on the bottom–that’s okay, it’ll thicken after cooling to make a pudding-like mixture. Let the cobbler cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

chocolate cobbler

{Adapted from Dessert for Two}

Birthday Dinner cover

Birthday Dinner, Part XI, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Birthday Dinner, Part XI, text © Jeffrey Anderson

To download the entire novel in the format of your choosing for $1.99, go to


About Elaine

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