A Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake for 80 people

This Nigella Lawson recipe works extremely well for large numbers as it’s very easy to make in a huge saucepan and extremely forgiving of almost any baking tray or oven.


ingredients serves 15 serves 30 serves 90
butter 250g 500g 1250g
dark chocolate 250g 500g 1250g
castor sugar or half castor half muscavado 190g or 95g of each 380g or 190g of each 900g or 450g of each
black coffee 185ml 370ml 925ml
water 185ml 370ml 925ml
creme de framboise optional 2 tbsp (4 tbsp) (10 tbsp)
eggs 2 4 10
self-raising flour 185g 370g 925g
cocoa powder 30g 60g 150g
raspberries (frozen is fine) 250g 500g as required

Timescale & Hints

The recipe serves ten but it’s very rich and can easily do 15. Then there is the curious Law of Catering, which says that (depending on the context) the more people there are, the less food is required!

For large numbers I normally leave out the creme de framboise.

Just as good, in fact perhaps better, the next day.


Oven 180C/gas mark 4. Top oven but not too hot.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment. For 1 quantity, 22-23cm. For the largest quantity, the baking tray in the photo is about 40 x 26cm.

Put the chocolate, butter, sugars, black coffee, water and framboise if using in a saucepan that will be large enough for all the ingredients. Melt over low heat stirring occasionally to stop it catching til butter and chocolate is melted. Add the flour and cocoa powder. May be easier to use a whisk at this point. Add the eggs and mix or whisk well. It will be fairly runny.

Pour into the baking tray. Leave at least 3 cm from the top.

The recipe says pour in half the mixture, scatter the raspberries (they can be frozen), pour in rest of mixture. For speed I pour in all the mixture, scatter, and don’t even bother to push the raspberries below the surface as the mixture will rise up around the fruit.

For 1 quantity, cook for 40 minutes. Top will be slightly cracked but don’t let it dry out. Like a brownie, slightly on the undercooked side is better than overcooked.

For larger quantities, anything from 40 minutes to 2 hours depending on your oven. Keep an eye on it, as the edges may burn. Once it looks cooked as far as the middle of the baking tray you could take it out.

As it’s very rich a perfectly reasonable portion is a small square. Serve with creme fraiche or ice cream, preferably warm or at least at room temperature.


How to Eat, Nigella Lawson, 1999

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