Friday, July 9, 2010

Self saucing puddings and Nigella Lawson

One of the first things I learnt to cook as a child was a chocolate self saucing pudding. It is a recipe my sister and I still make, whenever the need arises... usually a last minute request for desert with dinner or a late night chocolate craving. I saw Nigella Lawson make something similar on an episode of one of her TV shows, at some time in the distant past, when we had the Lifestyle FOOD channel, and stored the idea away for another time.

A few months ago, I thought I might have a go at Nigella's version of a self saucing pudding - most likely because we were out of cocoa. It turned out ok, but it wasn't great. Something was just not quite right about it. After a bit of pondering, I determined that it probably wasn't the recipe, but the method of cooking. You see, the simple chocolate self saucing pudding I learnt to make as a child was cooked in the microwave. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it works, and it works well. Cooking the pudding in the oven gives you a different type of cake, and it's not really what I associate with a self saucing pudding. So this time I thought I'd try Nigella's recipe in the microwave.

Nigella's Holiday Hot Cake

serves 6
  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g light muscovado sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 125ml milk
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 200g light muscovado sugar, extra
  • 1 tsp ground ginger, extra
  • 1 tsp mixed spice, extra
  • 6 tsp butter
  • 500ml boiling water

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, milk, oil and egg in a microwave safe dish (pyrex or ceramic work well).

Combine extra sugar and spices, then sprinkle over cake batter in the dish. Dot the butter on top, and carefully pour the boiling water over the top.

Cover dish with a loose fitting lid (or gladwrap with a few holes poked in) and microwave on high for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your microwave. Our old super duper one would cook it through in 10 minutes, we now have a smaller, less powerful microwave, and it takes 15 minutes.

Once cooked, it will look pretty weird, ugly even, but trust me, this will work. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes - or as long as you can resist! Then serve with cream or ice cream.

Of course, if you prefer the oven method, feel free to do it that way (you will probably end up with a more attractive looking pudding), making sure you use an oven proof dish (again, pyrex or ceramic would work well). And bake in a preheated 220 degree oven for 30 minutes.


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