Thursday, 29 November 2007

Nigella Lawson's Sticky Chocolate Pudding

Welcome, to the most searched for recipe in my entire blog! I appreciate that to you, it looks like a brown splat, but this is one of my absolute most favourite recipes of all time. It has voodoo qualities. Nigella made it on tv years ago, on one of Nigel Slater's programmes. The recipe can be found in her book, "How To Eat", and also seems to be on several websites. I last cooked this (and took the photo) during a very miserable weekend earlier this year. I was in a massive mardy, and feeling very sad. However, as I remember, a few weeks later my life was transformed quite drastically .. and now just looking at this pudding reminds me of that time. So perhaps it really is a magic pudding. If you love chocolate, make this when you are in the doldrums, and perhaps make a wish as you stir the mixture. Believe me; you never know what's round the corner.

Oh, and don't THINK of missing out on the ground hazelnuts, (or swapping them for any other kind of ground nut) even if you have to pulverise them yourself. They are gorgeous in it.

Nigella Lawson's Sticky Chocolate Pudding
150g self-raising flour
25g good-quality cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
50g ground hazelnuts
75g dark chocolate buttons (or dark chocolate, chopped)
180ml full cream milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g butter, melted
1 free range egg
For the sauce:
180g dark muscovado sugar
120g good-quality cocoa powder, sifted
500ml very hot water
Put all the dry ingredients ­ the flour, cocoa, sugar, ground hazelnuts and chocolate pieces ­ in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the milk, vanilla extract, melted butter and egg. Pour into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into a large, buttered soufflĂ© dish, about 20cm in diameter. Mix the muscovado sugar and cocoa together and sprinkle on top of the pudding. Pour the hot water on top ­(don't stir!) and put in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas 4. After 35 to 40 minutes, the pudding should be firm and springy. Serve at once, with cold pouring cream.

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