8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus 8 more tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus additional butter, for greasing pan
1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 egg, plus 2 eggs
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick melted butter, and stir until well blended. Pat mixture into prepared pan and set aside.
In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs, and the cocoa powder. Lower the speed of the mixer, and add the powdered sugar. Continue beating until ingredients are well mixed. Slowly add the remaining 1 stick of melted butter, and the vanilla, continuing to beat the mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts with a rubber spatula. Spread filling over cake mixture in pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the cake; the center should still be a little gooey when finished baking. Let cake partially cool on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.
And the results (Dum Dum Dum):
As you can see there are two unbelievably gorgeous layers, one cake-y and one gooey. The second layer is similar to a cheesecake (well it basically is, since it has cream cheese in it) and never fully bakes (or hardens) as the bottom layer. But don't worry, that's the beauty of it all. That second "gooey" layer is comparable to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Ok fine, don't mock my comparisons, but seriously, Paula Deen's recipe for this non-conventional chocolate cake is on the verge of perfection, if not divine intervention. It's something all members of Chocoholics Anonymous will love. Am I out of line to say it looks somewhat similar to the snowy peaks of Big Bear? I think not. Substance and beauty, a rare find!