Chocolate Pear Pudding Cake This is a cross between pears Belle Helene and Eve's pudding, but that's an irrelevance, really. The only important thing to remember is that this is easy, quick and very comforting — and it seems to please absolutely everyone.

Chocolate Pear Pudding Cake

Reprinted from Nigella Express: Good Food, Fast. This recipe has not been tested by NPR.

Ingredients

2 cans (14 ounces each) pear halves in juice

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) softened butter, plus more for greasing

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2-inch square ovenproof dish with butter.

2. Drain the pears and arrange them in the dish.

3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blitz till you have a batter with a soft dropping consistency.

4. Spread the batter over the pears. Bake for 30 minutes.

5. Let stand for 5 or 10 minutes before slicing. (I cut 2 down and 2 across to make 9 slices.) Serve with chocolate sauce.

Serves 6 to 9.

This is a cross between pears Belle Helene and Eve's pudding, but that's an irrelevance, really. The only important thing to remember is that this is easy, quick and very comforting — and it seems to please absolutely everyone.

For hot days when baked cake and sauce seems inappropriate, bear in mind that canned (or jarred) pears and chocolate sauce — with or without vanilla ice cream — make a lovely dessert on their own.

You can make the chocolate sauce or buy one, obviously. I have a pantry standby I make by heating together ¾ cup evaporated milk, ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder, ½ cup dark corn syrup and 3 ½ ounces semisweet chocolate.

The cake itself does make a little bit of its own sauce, so if you don't want to make some separately, just serve with chocolate ice cream.

As with most baking, you want all ingredients at room temperature before you start.