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Nov 1, 2008 03:25 PM

Nov/Dec DESSERT Cookbook of the Month: Nigella's How To Be A Domestic Goddess: DESSERTS and CHOCOLATE

Here's the place to post recipes, experiences, pros and cons, raves, ingredient information, and general discussion of the DESSERTS and CHOCOLATE Chapters in the book.

As always, please indicate the name of the recipe and the page number.

If you do not have the book, there are usually lists of online recipes in the general topic post about the Dessert COTM.

There are apparently some errors in some of the editions of this book, so please note anything you notice. I posted a list of the mistakes and fixes in the main topic thread.

Thanks, Oakjoan

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  1. Storecupboard Chocolate-Orange Cake, p170 (UK paperback edition)

    I think I am delirious, because I got a sudden urge to make a cake this afternoon despite the fact that I got up at 4.30am to go to work! I also had some homemade marmalade which had crystallised to use up, so this was an obvious choice.

    It's a piece of cake (HA!) to put together, which is good, as I am practically brain-dead with fatigue. All you do is melt 125g of butter in a heavy saucepan, and add 100g dark chocolate when it is nearly melted. Leave for a minute, then remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate is melted. Add 300g marmalade, 150g of caster sugar, a pinch of salt and two beaten eggs. Mix well and then gradually beat in 150g of self-raising flour.

    Put into a buttered and floured 20cm Springform tin and bake for about 50 mins or until cooked through. I don't have a 20cm Springform tin, so I used a 20cm silicone mould. I'm not sure that you have to butter and flour silicone, but I did anyway.

    It was risibly easy, as Nigella might say, and is baking away as I type. The house smells heavenly, but the proof of the pudding, as they say....

    To be continued....

    9 Replies
    1. re: greedygirl

      Delicious! Moist, and with a pronounced orangey flavour from the marmalade. I prettied it up a bit by dusting with icing sugar. Pictures to follow, if I ever work out how to get them the right size for this site.

      And look, I found the online recipe.

      1. re: greedygirl

        Whadda gal! I notice that this cake is called PANTRY SHELF Chocolate-Orange Cake in my book, which must be the American edition.

        1. re: oakjoan

          This is a really good cake to make when you're in need of a quick cake fix. I brought it to work today and my colleagues are loving it. Nigella says you can replace the marmalade with raspberry jam or prune purée - I think both would be great.

          1. re: greedygirl

            I also made this cake, but put my description in the "Cakes" thread, only now realizing that it should go in the Chocolate thread.

            1. re: oakjoan

              OK, so you have to be exiled, too!!!!!

              1. re: roxlet

                Oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Banished! Oh nooooooooooooo!

                1. re: oakjoan

                  OK, you're exiled but not banished. You're not kicked off the island. C'mon back!!!!!!!

        2. re: greedygirl

          PANTRY CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE, p. 170 (my turn)

          Success! I baked something not edible only with vast amounts of whipped cream, but delicious in its own right! This is a pretty infallible recipe. Instead of orange marmalade I used this Peach Amaretto jam I've been trying to get rid of for a while, and I only had a ten inch springform rather than 8", but despite this self-sabotage, it came out wonderfully. The jam mellowed and blended well with the chocolate flavors, and the cake is probably shorter than it's supposed to be, but I just cut out 10 minutes from the cooking time due to my improper pan, and it's still moist and cake-y and delicious. I might just cut my losses and only bake this from now on. I bet the marmalade is good- will try it that way for sure next time.

          1. re: yamalam

            I made this again last night on a whim but used black cherry conserve instead of marmalade. It was really, really good. I served it after dinner with vanilla ice-cream for a simple dessert.

      2. Molten Chocolate Babycakes, p. 179 (US 1st edition)

        Disclaimer: I am a lousy baker and always mess things up.

        Well, disappointing results from my first foray into this book. The picture looked so good too, and I was hoping for something similar to the molten lavacakes from Roy's Hawaiian Fusion restaurant.

        To paraphrase from memory as I don't have my notes handy - you melt chocolate and let it cool(I used Trader Joe's bittersweet baking choc and am glad I didn't waste $$ on Valharona), cream together butter and sugar, then add eggs, pinch of salt and flour, then add cooled chocolate, mix to form smooth batter, and bake in 6 oz ramekins on 400 for 10 minutes. The ramekin bases are first lined with parchment paper. I used a muffin pan because I didn't have enough ramekins, and aluminum foil because I never remember to buy parchment or wax paper.

        My cakes were not molten in the middle like the picture, but cooked through and dry. The consistency reminded me of a bad flourless chocolate cake. They were not sweet, which I liked, but DH didn't. I think I overcooked them and the whole muffin pan and foil thing probably didn't help either. I'd recommend checking after 7 minutes, not the full 10. Like oakjoan mentioned, I probably should check my oven temp too if I'm going to keep trying to bake. Bummer.

        6 Replies
        1. re: yamalam

          Do you think your muffin pan holds less six ounces in each 'cup'? That might also have been the problem. Sorry they didn't turn out!

          1. re: MMRuth

            It is one of those big "Texas Muffin" pans. I believe I measured and each cup was 6 oz...but in hindsight maybe I just eyballed it.

            1. re: yamalam

              The batter might have been spread out too much and therefore too flat and not high enough (if that makes any sense). Also could the tinfoil have added to the heat or reflected heat and caused them to bake more quickly?

              It's always such a toss-up to use different pans, etc. than called for in the recipe, but I certainly do not feature going out and buying all kinds of different pans that I'll only use once a year or so. I bought all sorts of mini pans for my forays into The Rose Bakery Cookbook - round ones, mini bread pans, mini pie pans etc. I'll admit that I've used them a lot, but that's due to my adoration and constant baking from Rose's cookbook.

          2. re: yamalam

            Am so sorry things went awry. They are worth another shot if you like this kind of thing -- I make in ramekins and they've always turned out the way they're supposed to. Molten in middle, cakey on outside. The ceramic maybe creates a different baking situation. Super rich (almost a bit too much) so definitely requires vanilla ice cream to cut -- also really feels like a lot for one person but that hasn't stopped people from eating the whole thing anyway. Have taken to making in smaller ramekins to avoid choc overdosing.
            A bit too rich to be my favorite dessert I've ever made but very good as a special treat and by far the most requested. It's also really great to take to dinner parties because you can prepare in advance and then pop into the oven toward the end of the meal -- fun and different. I've refrigerated the uncooked, filled ramekins for a couple days comfortably. Got my recipe off Nigella's website -- so perhaps there are some differences..

            1. re: bite bite

              Well then that's that, I must try again with ramekins. I already have madeleine pans on my TJ Maxx search list, I'm now adding a set of ramekins. And the baby bundt cakes on p. 26 are so cute, I was considering one of those pans, plus the mini lime syrup sponges on p. 242 have to be good, not to mention I only have a 10" springform, and no stand mixer...geez!

              1. re: yamalam

                Mmm. Look forward to hearing if you try the mini lime deals. That sounds great.

          3. Gooey chocolate stack, p. 185, U.S. edition:

            I made this as one of my contributions for Thanksgiving. Not exactly traditional but the hostess had suggested something chocolate.

            It's three 8-inch meringue disks layered with what is basically a rich chocolate pudding. As usual, sorry for no photo. Mine looked pretty much like the photo in the book except that instead of pistachios, I decorated the top with sugar flowers in harvest colors to look seasonal. The big problem I had was that I needed to transport it to someone else's house. I put it in a Tupperware-type cake saver, and when I took it out the meringues had lost their crispness. It was still good, but not as good as it should have been.

            1. RHUBARB GRUNT - p. 127

              I posted about this on the baking thread then remembered that this may have had a thread of its own. Big thanks to Gio for the non-COTM thread and links!

              This recipe produces a lovely springtime dessert!

              I won’t get into the prep since I found a blogger who has “adapted” Nigella’s recipe here:


              The only adaptation I saw was that the blogger calls for ¾ cup of sugar whereas Nigella suggests ¾ to 1 cup depending on the tartness of your rhubarb.

              This was my first “grunt” and based on the rave reviews from my grunt-tasters, it won’t be my last! We especially loved the rich, light-textured shortcake-like topping. The rhubarb was nicely tart with the 3/4c. of sugar and I wouldn’t go with any more in the future. This is quick to pull together and worth making for the enticing aromas that waft through the house as it bakes alone! I might consider adding some anise seeds to the topping next time as we love the flavours of anise and rhubarb together. Delicious.