In the introduction to this recipe – which she calls Sticky Chocolate Pudding – Nigella tells us that her family refers to this as Lemon Surprise; the surprise being that there is no lemon.
Seriously though, Nigella’s Sticky Chocolate Pudding is essentially a self-saucing pudding. And, on account of the fact that it uses both cocoa and dark chocolate buttons in the sponge and about 120g of cocoa in the sauce – a very rich one at that. In fact, as tasty as it was – and it was extremely luxurious – a little bit of this goes a very long way indeed.
The verdict was, in fact, that while it was nice, my family prefers the self-saucing pudding that I’ve been making since I was a teenager and is so foolproof that I’ve even cooked it in a camp or Dutch oven over a campfire. It’s even quick enough to whip up as a midweek after dinner treat.
Nigella, your lemon surprise is pretty fabulous – and I’ll be keeping it for those occasions where deep deep solace is required – but for everyday comfort, I’ll be sticking with my tried and true classic – the recipe of which is below. You’re welcome.
What you need for the cake…
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 80g melted butter
- ½ cup milk
- I teaspoon vanilla
- 1egg, lightly beaten
What you need for the sauce
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 cups boiling water
What you do with it
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Butter the dish that you’re using – a 20cm round souffle dish would work, but I actually use a shallow pyrex style dish too… or a 2-quart Dutch oven when in the great outdoors.
- Sift flour and cocoa into a large bowl, stir in the sugar
- Combine the egg, milk, vanilla and cooled butter in a jug and slowly add to the dry ingredients, mixing until well combined and smooth. Spoon into the prepared dish.
- To make the sauce, sprinkle the combined sugar and cocoa over the pudding
- Carefully pour over the boiling water and place into the oven for about 30 minutes – until crusty on the outside and soft and squidgy on the inside.
- Serve with cream, ice cream, custard or a combination of all of the above.
I’ve taken on the challenge to cook my way through Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat. You can find more episodes here.