Making Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

In my house, I have no oven. Which means that if I want to bake something that requires an oven (nearly always), I must use my neighbor's oven. It's like borrowing eggs in America, but I pay them back with a slice of my cake or some cookies. Some of the desserts are difficult to explain to Jordanian villagers, who have only been exposed to dry cake, biscuits, crème caramel, and hareesa. Try describing cheesecake or apple pie with limited Arabic vocabulary, and you hear yourself saying "creamy and sweet cheese on cinnamon hard bread crumbs" or "soft, sweet bread crust with baked apples and cinnamon." Not exactly appetizing.
I have a recipe for hot fudge pudding cake that's absolutely heaven in the winter: the bottom layer is hot, gooey fudge with the consistency of pudding; the top layer, a brownie cake. Zaaki-ain "Twice Delicious." I prepared the cake, up to the baking point. Marching over to my neighbors with the unbaked cake in hand, I asked if I could use her oven. She kindly acceded and we popped the cake in. Of course, it turned into a huge affair, and her son ran to tell our other neighbors that "the American is baking a cake! It has chocolate!"
Within minutes, nine kids, my two female neighbors, and I were huddled around the oven, waiting until the scent of baking chocolate would waft from the airtight doors of the oven. For thirty minutes, I emphasized how insanely delicious this cake is. Everyone was drooling as we squatted on the kitchen floor in front of the oven, imagining diving into the cake.
As soon as the cake was ready, I took it out of the oven. My neighbor proceeded to poke holes in it with her knife, and a horrified look crept across her face. She desperately told me that the cake wasn't ready; it needed twenty more minutes; we would die from dood (uncooked eggs) if we ate it now. I explained that the lower layer was supposed to be gooey, that the cake was ready and would burn if we baked it any longer, and that I had not added any eggs to the batter. After ten minutes of arguing, I cut half of the cake for their family to share and enjoy, and took my half home with me to enjoy (hey, I was craving it…). As I stepped out the door, I convinced my neighbor for the 49th time that "the cake is perfect! It's supposed to be gooey! Try it!"
The next day, my neighbor's four-year-old daughter asked me why I didn't give her any cake. "What? I gave your mommy half of the cake! Did your brothers eat it all before you could eat any?" I asked.
"No, Mommy threw it in the trash when you left yesterday."
Well, I've learned the lesson now. My neighbors seem to only regard me with suspicion when I introduce anything non-Jordanian: this hot fudge pudding cake, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal raisin cookies, banana bread...the list goes on. My only culinary creations that have successfully won over skeptical villagers have been pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, and brownies. They even dismissed my green tea! I've discovered that here, women's biggest pride is in cooking, and they don't readily trust a foreigner's creations in the kitchen. Sigh.

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