How to make the chocolate cake from Matilda - plus other famous TV and movie recipes

From Rachel's shepherd's pie in Friends to Buddy's spaghetti in Elf, some fictional recipes from TV programmes or films really stay with us.

Now you can recreate some of these iconic food items at home.

 Matilda: Bruce Bogtrotter’s chocolate cake

  • 330ml whole milk (gold top is best)
  • 200g dark chocolate (around 60 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 65g self-raising flour
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 55g cocoa powder
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 165g unsalted butter, softened
  • 330g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten

For the icing

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  • 330ml double cream, plus extra if needed
  • 500g dark chocolate (60 per cent cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 130g lightly salted butter, melted and cooled


To make the icing, heat the cream and chocolate together in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl).

Stir now and then until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, leave to cool to room temperature, then, using an electric hand mixer, beat in the icing sugar.

Add the melted butter in a thin stream, beating all the time, until combined. If the icing looks greasy, add a glug more cream, beating the mixture to bring it back together.

Once all the butter has been incorporated, cover the icing with a piece of cling film touching the surface, and put somewhere cool (but not the fridge) for 4-5 hours to firm up.

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Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Lightly oil and fully line 3 x 23cm sandwich tins with baking paper and set aside.

For the sponge, heat 100ml of the milk with the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl), stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted. Cool slightly.

Sift the flour, almonds, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl with a good pinch of salt.

In another large mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugar using an electric hand mixer until pale and soft.

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Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs, a bit at a time, alternating with a spoonful of the flour mixture to stop the mixture curdling.

Once all the eggs are incorporated, whisk in the chocolate milk, then fold in the rest of the flour mix with a metal spoon or balloon whisk.

Finally, fold in the remaining whole milk.

Divide the cake batter evenly among the 3 tins.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on wire racks.

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Once the icing has set, put one of the sponges on a cake stand or platter.

Spread with a thick layer of icing, top with a second sponge, then repeat, finishing by spreading icing all over the top and sides (see tips).

Leave somewhere cool for the icing to set, then slice and serve.

Pulp Fiction: Big Kahuna burger


  • 1 pound ground beef or bison
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning
  • 4 pineapple rings (canned or fresh)
  • 4 pieces bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese

Spicy Coriander Mayo

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coriander, finely chopped


Using your hands, gently mix the ground meat with the teriyaki and grill seasoning in a medium bowl.

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Be careful not to overwork the mixture as that can toughen the meat. Divide into four quarter-pound patties.

Grill pineapple slices for approx 1 minute on each side on your grill of choice.

Cook burgers until desired doneness on a grill of choice: gas, charcoal or even one from George Foreman’s empire all work well.

Place a piece of bacon on each and then top with a piece of jack cheese to hinge the bacon in place.

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Top with a grilled pineapple slice and serve on Kaiser rolls spread with spicy coriander mayo (recipe follows.)

Spicy coriander mayoMix all together in a small bowl and use as condiment on Big Kahuna Burgers.

Elf: Buddy’s candy pasta

  • 160-200g of dried spaghetti (depending on how much you can eat!)
  • 80ml (⅓ cup) maple syrup
  • 50ml (¼ cup) chocolate syrup or sauce
  • Handful of M&Ms
  • Handful of mini marshmallows
  • 1 chocolate Pop Tart or 3 chocolate Bourbon biscuits


Add your dried spaghetti to a pan of salted boiling water.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes until cooked to your liking.

Drain your pasta in a sieve or colander and allow to cool slightly for 2 minutes.

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Tip your pasta out onto 2 plates (or 1 if you're feeling hungry!).

Pour all the remaining ingredients over the pasta.

Use your hands to mix everything together well. You can use a spoon or some tongs if you don't mind the in-authenticity.


 Friends: Shepherd’s pie trifle

  • 1 package lady fingers
  • 1 jar raspberry jam
  • 2 cup custard
  • 1 package raspberries
  • 10 oz ground beef
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Whipped cream


Assemble the ingredients. Sautee the ground beef with peas and onions. Prepare the custard ahead of time.

Line the bottom of a large glass bowl with a layer of lady fingers.

Add the jam until the lady fingers are completely coated.

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Cover the jam layer with half of the custard then top with raspberries.

Add another layer of lady fingers.

Add a layer of beef mixture.

Add the rest of the custard and sliced bananas.

Cover with whipped cream and garnish.

The team at Wren Kitchens have shared these recipes as part of a giveaway, challenging the nation to recreate one of the fictional food recipes for the chance to win an entertainment bundle for the whole family.

Find out more here.