Nigella Lawson’s Store Cupboard Chocolate Raspberry Cake

by Kristin on September 20, 2012

Cookbook writers and TV chefs are always talking about dishes to serve when unexpected guests pop in or if you’re having friends round for a midweek dinner party. Seriously? Who on earth has a dinner party in the middle of the week? And who calls in unannounced and expects to have some little treat fresh out of the oven set down in front of them? I’m a third generation Virgo and consider myself to be fairly well organised, but I would be hard pressed to rustle up much more than some stale crackers unearthed from the back of the pantry if someone dropped by out of the blue.

Until, that is, I discovered this cake. It’s my favorite kind of cake recipe — the kind where the butter is melted and then everything gets stirred together in one pot, meaning you don’t even have to plan ahead to let the butter soften first. I always have the baking basics on hand (flour, butter, sugar, eggs), and if you just add a jar of raspberry jam and a bar of dark chocolate to that list, then this is truly a store cupboard cake, one you can breezily whip together at a moment’s notice if a craving for cake suddenly strikes — or if, like Nigella, you just so happen to be throwing an effortless-looking dinner party on a school night.

Store Cupboard Chocolate Raspberry Cake
adapted from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

The original recipe is actually called Store Cupboard Chocolate Orange Cake, since it calls for marmalade instead of raspberry jam. I’ve made it that way too but as much as I love marmalade, I like the raspberry jam version even better.

1/2 cup (125 g) unsalted butter
4 oz (100 g) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3/4 cup (300 g) good-quality raspberry jam (or apricot jam or marmalade)
3/4 (150 g) sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups (150 g) self-raising flour
confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar), to decorate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour an 8 inch (20 cm) Springform pan and set aside.

Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over a low heat to melt. When it’s almost melted, stir in the chocolate and allow it to melt a little. Take the pan off the heat and stir until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted. Add in the jam, sugar, salt and eggs and stir well until everything is combined. Sift in the flour and stir again (taking care not to overmix), then pour the batter into the prepared Springform pan. Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before you turn it out. Once it’s completely cooled, sift over some confectioners’ (icing) sugar to decorate.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah September 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Well I also have almost everything in my cupboard to make this cake…except the self-raising flour. Do you think I could I throw in some baking power as a substitute?

Kristin September 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I don’t see why not – throw in a teaspoon and see what happens!

sarah September 29, 2012 at 1:23 am

I was searching google for a salmon recipe when I stumbled upon this site.

As someone who reads a ton of food blogs I have to say that this one is one of my favorites. All of your recipes look so delicious and you can find some pretty simple stuff to make for quick dinners!

Just wanted to say thanks and keep it up!

Kristin September 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Thanks so much, Sarah!

Sam October 31, 2013 at 11:59 am

I love the raspberry cake, I often do it as an easy desert served warm with a hot berry and amaretto coulis and vanilla ice cream! Yum!

maureen pagano November 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm

How much baking powder should we use if not using self rising flour? One teaspoon good?

Kristin November 27, 2013 at 10:37 am

That would be my guess – go for it!

Laura December 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

In Nigella’s “Kitchen” she recommends 2tsp baking powder per 150g plain flour to make s/r flour. Always works for me!

Making it with Seville Orange marmalade today. Bit nervous that it’ll be too sharp! Always used the cheap stuff previously.

Jake January 29, 2014 at 3:51 pm

This cake i made at school was amazing. Very good with the drop of raspberry in the cake! An amazing, fresh and rich cake.

Julie February 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm

If you wanted to ice this, like a really good fudgy icing, could you recommend a recipe? It’s a special birthday request! Thanks!

Kristin February 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm

My favourite chocolate icing is the one from the Barefoot Contessa’s Beatty’s chocolate cake recipe. I’d suggest halving the recipe and leaving out the espresso powder. Hope it turns out well for you!

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