Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake

A grown up dessert perfect for impressing at a dinner party, this rich and intense chocolate cake from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat has a light pudding-like texture and is any chocoholic's dream.

Introduction

I call this a pudding cake because its texture is simply a mixture between pudding and cake, though lighter by far than that could ever imply. Think, rather, of a mousse without fluffiness: this is dense but delicate with it. And it’s heavenly at blood heat, when the cakiness of the chocolate sits warmly around the sour-sweet juicy raspberries embedded within, like glinting, mud-covered garnets. This should be eaten an hour or so after it comes out of the oven. It gets more solid when cold, and loses some of that spectacular texture.

If you have any left, wrap it in foil and heat it up in the oven, or warm it up a slice at a time in the microwave before eating it.

Serves 8

Ingredients

185g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
250g unsalted butter, plus more to grease cake tin (I use the foil the butter was wrapped in)
1 tbsp Chambord
95g caster sugar
95g light muscovado sugar
250g good dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, broken into squares
185ml black coffee and 185ml water, or instant coffee made up with 2 teaspoons instant coffee and 370ml water
2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten slightly
250g raspberries plus lots more to serve
approx. ½ teaspoon icing sugar, to serve

Essential kit

You will need: a 22–23cm spring-sided cake tin.

Instructions

1. Arrange the oven shelves so that one is in the middle for the cake, and another just below it. Slide a baking sheet onto the lower rack to catch any drips as the cake bakes. Heat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C Fan.

2. Butter a 22–23cm spring-sided cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Mix the flour and cocoa powder together in a bowl, and set aside.

3. Put the butter, liqueur, sugars, chocolate, coffee and water in a thick-bottomed saucepan and stir over low heat until everything melts and is thickly, glossily smooth. Remove the pan from the heat, and let stand for a couple of minutes.

4. Stir the flour and cocoa mixture into the pan, and beat well – just with a spatula or wooden spoon - until all is smooth and glossy again, then gradually beat in the eggs. The mixture will be runny: don’t panic, and don’t add more flour; the chocolate itself sets as it cooks and then cools.

5. Pour into the prepared tin until you have covered the base with about 2cm of the mixture (which will be about half of it) and then cover with the raspberries and pour the rest of the mixture on top. You may have to push some of the raspberries back under the cake batter by hand.

6. Put into the preheated oven and bake for 40–45 minutes. Don’t try and test by poking in a skewer as you don’t want it to come out clean: the gunge is what the cake is about. But when it’s cooked, the top will be firm, and slightly cracked. Don’t worry about that: a little icing sugar will deflect attention. When it’s ready, take the cake out of the oven and put on a rack. Leave in the tin for 15 minutes before removing the sides of the tin; the cake must stay on its base.

7. When you’re just about to eat – and this should be around an hour after the cake’s come out of the oven - dust with a little icing sugar pushed through a tea strainer. Serve with lots more fresh raspberries, and Greek yoghurt, whipped double cream or crème fraîche as wished.

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