Nigella Lawson's Warm Chocolate Tahini and Banana Pudding
I have been making a banana bread with chocolate and tahini on repeat for a while now, and every time I’ve eaten it over the last year or so, I couldn’t help thinking that the particular combination of intense chocolatiness, sweet, texture-softening banana and the rich earthiness of tahini would make the perfect warm pudding. Finally, I tried it out. And much as I adore the elegant subtlety of the banana bread, I was enraptured by it in pudding form. A warm, soft and squidgy cake, it is both embracingly cosy and almost regally sumptuous. You could serve it just with crème fraîche, a little bit of tang to offset the pudding-cake’s richness, but I stir 4 teaspoons of tahini into 250ml of double cream and whisk gently by hand and for not very long, until it’s softly whipped. And I don’t stop there: after I’ve dolloped the tahini cream onto my pud, I drizzle over some (shop-bought, not homemade) date molasses, which is like sticky toffee pudding in syrup form.
Do try and get proper Middle Eastern tahini, which is smokier and more fluid, with a full-bodied velvetiness, than the more widely available Mediterranean one on which I have bent more spoons than Uri Geller.
You can easily double the quantities below to fill a 23cm round pie dish. I don’t find it makes an appreciable difference to the cooking time. You can make a vegan version, omitting the egg, and upping the bananas to 350g and the tahini to 75g. You will need to add 50g of plant-based yogurt, too; I used the same almond-soy variety as I do for the Vegan Lemon Polenta Cake (p.257 of Cook, Eat, Repeat). The pudding will not rise a lot without the egg, but the taste is still magnificent. Dark chocolate chips should be dairy-free, but do check the packet.
Find the bread version of this recipe here.
|250g (approx. 2 medium)||very ripe or overripe bananas (skin-on weight)|
|60ml||olive or vegetable oil|
|50g||tahini, at room temperature (and see recipe intro)|
|50g||full-fat Greek yogurt, at room temperature|
|1||large egg, at room temperature|
|50g||soft dark brown sugar|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
|60g||plain flour (or gluten-free plain flour)|
|½ tsp||bicarbonate of soda|
|¼ tsp||fine sea salt|
|100g||dark chocolate chips|
You will need: an ovenproof dish with a capacity of about 750ml.
1. Heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan. Get out an ovenproof dish with a capacity of about 750ml; mine is 18cm in diameter and 5cm deep.
2. Peel the bananas (don’t throw the skins away, though, but use them to make the Banana Skin and Cauliflower Curry on p.35 of Cook, Eat, Repeat) and, either by hand or using an electric mixer, mash the bananas, then beat in the oil. I use an American ¼ cup (60ml) measure to do this, and then fill it up with tahini (conveniently, 60ml of tahini weighs 50g) and beat that in. Beat in the yogurt (you can also fill the ¼ cup measure with it to get 50g). Beat in the egg, then the sugars and vanilla.
3. Whisk or fork together the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt and slowly beat into the batter and when you can no longer see any specks of white, fold in the chocolate chips with a bendy spatula, which you will need to scrape the runny batter into the ovenproof dish.
4. Cook for 40–45 minutes, depending on whether you want it to have a gooily molten centre or not. Once it’s out of the oven, let it stand for 5–10 minutes before diving in for that first squidgy spoonful.