Nigella Lawson’s chilli-cinnamon chocolate pudding

I am greedy; there’s no point in trying to hide this fact.  I expect it stems from the fact that I am often led down the path to temptation in the form of leftovers, because I am a great believer in cooking too much, and having enough for everyone who wants them to have seconds, than cooking what I think is just enough and it possibly being too little. As a result of this predilection, I tend to consider the number of servings a recipe suggests one can get from a dish, on occassions, a little stingy. However, I think Nigella has been more than generous with the number of people you can spread this recipe around; it is stodgy (in a good way) and rich, so a little goes a long way.

Her chilli-cinnamon chocolate pudding should serve 6. 

The ingredients:chocolate pudding

Butter – for greasing
Plain flour – 150g
Salt – a pinch
Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
Bicarbonate of soda – ½ a teaspoon
Ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder – ¼ of a teaspoon
Caster sugar – 200g
Cocoa (the best quality you can afford/get your hands on) – 50g
Milk – 125ml
Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
Corn oil (I couldn’t get this so used sunflower oil and it worked fine) – 60ml
Soft dark brown sugar – 100g
Boiling water – 175ml
Dark rum (I only had white rum so used that and, again, it worked fine) – 60ml

The recipe:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  • Butter a 2 litre (23cm) round pudding dish, and set to one side.
  • In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients: flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, chilli powder, caster sugar and half (25g) of the cocoa.
  • In a measuring jug beat together the following ingredients: milk, vanilla extract and oil, and then pour into the bowl of dry ingredients whilst mixing with a wooden spoon to create a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pudding dish, and set to one side.
  • In another bowl combine the remaining 25g of cocoa and the soft dark brown sugar, and then sprinkle over the batter.
  • Boil your water and pour it over the cocoa and sugar-topped batter, followed by the rum.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, by which time it should be a gooey chocolate sauce sauce topped by a bubbly chocolate sponge.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream.

My notes on this recipe:

  • In her blurb to this recipe in her book Feast, Nigella says that this pudding is a) “a miracle of low-effort, high-reward”, b) that “it looks alarming when you make it” and c) that it is “luscious”; I concur, on all counts.
  • When I made this the first time I wasn’t at home and didn’t have any scales to hand; I had to guess all the weight measurements and it still turned out fine. So if you’re not one for following a recipe to the letter, and feel restricted by precise measurements, it is good to know there is an easy-to-experiment-with piece of baking you can get stuck into.
  • Indeed, one time I made this I had a bar of Lindt Chilli Chocolate in the cupboard, so I broke that into pieces and dotted it over the batter before I spinkled on the cocoa and sugar topping. The recipe still worked, and I had delicious little puddles of melted chocolate gently bubbling up through the sponge.
  • Next time I make this I’m going to try it with Purbeck ChilliRed ice cream (red chilli combined with double cream and milk); I’ll keep you posted how the combo goes.

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