Nigella’s marmalade pudding cake

Nigella’s marmalade pudding cake

As a kid I was a pretty picky eater. My sister was a seriously picky eater, so in comparison I probably didn’t seem that bad, but there was still a reasonably lengthy catalogue of no-go foods that needed to be worked around at mealtimes. Obviously my tastebuds have matured, and most of those once-verboten foods I’ve learned to love. Nuts? Love ’em! Zucchini? Loooove it. Fresh coriander? Love love LOVE it!

There are a few foods I’m never going to come around to, though. I have a pretty complicated relationship with cheese – I enjoy it in some guises, but anything too creamy or too smelly or too cheesy is just bleurgh. Mayonnaise will never, ever pass my lips. And I still don’t like marmalade.

I grew up in a house filled with marmalade. I mean it wasn’t like you opened a cupboard and jars of marmalade came tumbling out on top of you, but my parents are serious marmalade eaters and I remember the yearly bulk purchase of Seville oranges in order to produce the next year’s batch. The practice continues to this day, and I still don’t exactly relish the hot, orange fugginess of a kitchen that has become Marmalade Central.

But while I wouldn’t deign to spread some hot, buttered toast with a spoonful of the stuff, I will readily admit that marmalade contributes a certain something to dessert. Like the best flavour of oranges, but deeper and more orangey. And it works especially well in this Nigella pudding. Fresh out of the oven this is a soft, sort of cakey thing, kind of like the traditional British steamed sponge. The next day it’s much more solid and cake-like, and that’s how we polished off the leftovers, in big hunks alongside a cup of tea. A two-in-one dessert – what’s not to love?

Marmalade Pudding Cake
From Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

Serves 6 to 8

250 g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
75 g caster or granulated sugar
75 g light brown sugar
150 g marmalade, plus 75 g for the glaze
225 g flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
zest and juice of 1 orange (reserve half the juice for the glaze)

Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C, and butter a 24cm / 9in ovenproof dish. Put the 75 g marmalade and juice of half the orange into a small pan and set aside to make a glaze later.

Put all the other ingredients into a food processor, process them until just well combined, and then scrape the batter into the buttered dish, smoothing the top. (If you’re not using a processor, cream the butter and both sugars in a mixer, beat in the marmalade followed by the dry ingredients, then the eggs and finally the orange zest and juice.)

Bake in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes, until the pudding is risen and golden and a cake tester comes out mostly clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool a little. Meanwhile warm the glaze mixture in the pan until melted together, then paint the top of the pudding. Serve alongside custard or cream.