The Nigella Diaries – About Chocolate

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.

Campfire Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding

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.
cooked in the camp oven on coals
  • 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.
campfire self saucing chocolate pudding

I’ve taken on the challenge to cook my way through Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat. You can find other episodes here.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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