Yes, you read that right: this humungous and very delicious chocolate cake costs just £1.44 to make.
It is one of my thrifty adaptations of a Nigella recipe: in this case, the Store-Cupboard Chocolate-Orange Cake from How To Be A Domestic Goddess. The first time I made this chocolate cake, I was sold on Nigella’s pitch:
A different sort of chocolate cake: the sort you can make in a few minutes once you get home from work. Hardly any trouble, and you’ve got a gorgeously aromatic cake either for pudding or just to eat, as supper in its entirety, in front of the television.
CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR DINNER? If I must… Everything Nigella says here is true. However there are three other things I love about this particular cake:
- You will probably have the ingredients in the kitchen already.
- Hardly any washing up: a bowl, a saucepan, a couple of utensils and the cake tin.
- Did I mention that my own, tasty version of this chocolate cake costs only £1.44?
The secret to this cake? A jar of value marmalade. At the time of writing, a jar of this costs just 27p from all the major supermarkets (a value marmalade cartel?) – and you’ll only use 18p‘s-worth. The other key ingredient you’ll need is a big 100g bar of value dark chocolate. This costs just 30p from all the major supermarkets (yep, definitely some price-fixing going on here).
In all honesty, I wouldn’t usually recommend value dark chocolate for a chocolate cake. I’m a choc snob. For this cake, however, it works perfectly well – I suspect that because this is a chocolate orange cake rather than a plain chocolate cake, you can get away with it.
The most expensive ingredient is half a packet of unsalted butter, which comes to 40p if you shop at Aldi (and 45p at the other supermarkets). The recipe also calls for two eggs (27p if you buy a carton of 15 mixed weight eggs), 150g self-raising flour (5p if you buy value self-raising flour), 150g caster sugar (22p), a pinch of salt and a couple of teaspoons of icing sugar (2p). All prices correct at the time of writing.
Here is the recipe:
Serving size: 8
- 125g unsalted butter
- 100g dark chocolate
- 300g value marmalade
- 150g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- 20cm cake tin, buttered
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade / 350 degrees fahrenheit / gas mark 4.
- Melt the butter in a medium or large saucepan.
- While the butter is melting, break the chocolate into pieces and beat the eggs.
- When the butter has almost finished melting, add the pieces of chocolate. Remove from the heat and stir until the butter and the chocolate are a smooth melty goo.
- Add the marmalade, caster sugar, salt and beaten eggs to the saucepan. Stir to mix.
- Stir in the flour.
- Add the cake mixture to your buttered tin and bake for 50 minutes. Test with a skewer - it will come out clean when the cake is cooked.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out.
- Dust with icing sugar.