I need to make enough of the Chocolate Pear Pudding for 36 people for dinner in a homeless shelter. I imagine I would use four times the recipe and two large trays, but please could you advise on approximate cooking time and temperature and also whether it could be frozen and then re-heated gently - one of the prerequisites? Many thanks.
Nigella's Chocolate Pear Pudding (from NIGELLA EXPRESS) is a chocolate sponge that is studded with drained, canned pears. The pudding is best made in advance by mixing the batter an hour or so ahead and then baking the pudding just before it is needed.
However as the pears keep the pudding moist we suspect that it could be baked ahead and then reheated, though we would emphasise that it will not be quite the same as a freshy-baked pudding. We would prefer to bake four puddings in four 22cm/8-9-inch square pans, as it could be difficult to get larger versions to bake evenly and reheat quickly. This size of square pan is usually quite easy to find and can also be bought as disposable pans. Cool the pudding as quickly as possible and refrigerate or freeze within 2 hours of baking. Take the pudding out of the fridge about an hour before reheating, so that it comes to room temperature. Cover the pan with foil and reheat in a 180°C/350°F oven for about 20 minutes, or until warmed through, or heat individual portions in a microwave, following the manufacturer's instructions. If freezing the pudding, wrap the pudding, still in its pan, in a double layer of clingfilm (plastic wrap) and a layer of foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above. Please note that as we have not tried to make the pudding in advance and reheat it, we are unable to guarantee the results.