When you have a craving for a comforting dessert, try this pudding cake, which forms its own rich-tasting sauce as it bakes. The coffee flavor is subtle, but it adds complex depth to the cake's flavor.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk egg, milk, oil and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Add to the flour mixture; stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, if using. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Mix hot coffee and brown sugar in the measuring cup and pour over the batter. Sprinkle with nuts. (It may look strange at this point, but don't worry. During baking, cake forms on top with sauce underneath.)
Bake the pudding cake until the top springs back when touched lightly, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve hot or warm.
Ingredient Notes: Whole-wheat pastry flour--the whole-grain equivalent of cake flour--adds fiber and a rich, nutty taste.