Saturday, 9 October 2010


This "pudding cake" is one of my dinner party stand-bys - though I haven't made it for a long time, preferring Middle Eastern inspired pistachio or walnut cakes, or my trusty Tarte Tatin. It comes from Nigella Lawson's first and best cookbook 'How To Eat', and, as she herself says in the preamble, it is almost more effort to type out the recipe than to make the cake. A little gentle stirring and pouring is really all that is required

  • 185g self-raising flour (or 185g plain flour and a tsp of baking powder)
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons creme de framboise or similar liqueur
  • 95g caster sugar
  • 95g muscovado sugar
  • 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)
  • 185ml of strong espresso coffee + 185ml water OR 2 teaspoons good instant coffee made up with 370ml hot water
  • 2 eggs, beaten slightly
  • 250g raspberries (or more if using well defrosted, frozen raspberries) plus extra for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 22cm spring-form cake tin and line the base.

Melt the chocolate over a low heat with the butter, sugars and coffee. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together into a large bowl. When the chocolate/butter mixture has melted, pour over the flour and mix well. Then add the eggs. Do not panic at this point if the mixture is rather slurpy: it's meant to be! Pour the mixture into the prepared tin to about a depth of 2 cms and cover with raspberries, then add the rest of the mixture. Cook for about 40 minutes until the surface is slightly cracked and the cake gives only slightly to the touch. Do not test with a skewer: the middle should be moist and "puddingy" and the cake will set further as it cools. I serve this with creme fraiche. It is delicious the day after, warmed up in the microwave.

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