Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Review Nigella Kitchen

I discovered Nigella Lawson and her culinary style quite late in life. In fact, it was only last April when I first brought a Nigella book, at the suggestion of one of my fellow amigo who enjoys cooking and baking. I now have 5 out of the 8 of Nigella's books, these are: Kitchen, Forever Summer, How to be a domestic goddess, Christmas and my recent purchase Feast. Nigella's kitchen has given me the confidence to try a whole array of new recipes, use new ingredients and take a culinary journey throughout the world in my kitchen.
I have not taken pictures for all the recipes I have cooked (as this was prior to my food, glorious food days). The first recipe I tried was "Ed mother's meatloaf", followed by African drumsticks, which was sweet but did not think it was very authentic as I have tried African cuisines before. I loved her sweet and salty bars. The latter was a very decadent, luxurious, calorific chocolate bar which I love, but out of fear that I will be become addicted I have not made again. I fell in love with her coffee and walnut cake and whilst the pictures may not look fantastic (I only started baking cakes since last April after buying this book), it certainly tasted wonderful! The recipe can be found here coffee and walnut cake.

Coffee and walnut cake


Coffee and walnut cake with more coffee ! 

I also have made my first ever cheesecake, a banoffee cheesecake - a fantastic way to use up ripe bananas. Although I wasn't a big fan of this (I'm a chocolate cake girl), my family really enjoyed this.

Bannofee cheesecake.

Devil's food cake.

Swedish summer cake.
Talking about chocolate cake, Nigella's devil food cake was amazing. I tend not to use all plain chocolate when cooking but use 1/2 plain and 1/2 milk chocolate. The recipe can be found here: Devil's food cake. I also have made her Swedish summer cake, If I make this again over the summer I think I will cut the strawberries in half .

I have also made some of her savoury recipes, all which I have enjoyed, in fact, there isn't a recipe in this book which I dislike.

Turkey escalopes


Spanish Chicken


Pantry paella
I will be making Nigella's blondies this Sunday and date steak on Valentines day (for one).


 xxxx
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Sunday, 29 January 2012

I can't believe you made that cake

After last weeks Sunday dessert being a skinny tart, I thought I would go to the extreme the following week by making a chocolate cake, with frosting and chocolate fingers for decoration. I watched Lorraine Pascale make this cake last April on her show, Baking made easy and was impressed on how simple the recipe looked. I decided not to use the chocolate cigarellos as they would cost over £20, not worth it when I could buy three packets of fingers for £1 each (thanks Asda).
I didn't take pictures of the pre baking stage, as I was unsure whether it will turn out ok. Luckily for my very sweet taste buds, it did. The recipe for "I can't believe you made that cake" can be found here: I can't believe you made that cake.

Cake with the chocolate frosting.


Chocolate cake with the three packets of milk/white chocolate fingers.





The finished cake, the fruit counts as one of my five a day !
The next thing to make from Baking Made Easy is the prosciutto and fig pizza, yum
                                                   xxx
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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Xmas festives/ harry bikers ploughman tart

I apologise in advance for the unusual long post from me. I'm not that technology savvy, and was having problems with my camera so couldn't upload as quickly as I wanted. Anyway, due to the demands of my course I could only go to one xmas celebration event. I thought I would share with you some pictures of the dinner and dance that I go to every year, and the starter that inspired me to recreate a dish from the Hairy Bikers.





Mushroom tart

Mushroom tart ad crusty bread





Above are pictures of a delicious mushroom tart. Baby button mushrooms in bite size pastry inspired me to recreate a pastry dish that I saw the Hairy Bikers make.

My ultimate turkey dinner - I don't do things by halfs !


I was also inspired by the desserts (I had two) that I ate. Firstly I had the standard chocolate cake which was lovely moist. I then noticed that there were chocolate sundaes for people with allergies .......... I managed to get a chocolate sundae (although I had no allergies) which was amazing. I'm hoping to make some ice-cream over the summer and even have some recipes in mind (Nigella's peanut sundae sauce, pina colada no churn ice-cream, from Nigella Express and Nigella Kitchen), but until then, I will be ordering sundaes when I eat out.



After watching the Hairy Bikers make a ploughmans tart (which was quite similar to the mushroom tart as they are both are canapes and small savoury tarts), I felt inspired to recreate one of my favourite lunches in a tart form. The recipe can be found here ploughman canape. Making these canapes was very easy; a basic shortcrust pastry in a muffin tin, mayo, cheese, cherry tomatoes and grapes. This tart was appreciated at home and was a perfect addition to all the new years eve food that I cooked. (They even tasted good the following day).


Ploughmans tart from hairy bikers Christmas


Baked Chicken wings for n.y.e from BBC good food magazine 


Star topped mince pies. Looked nothing like the picture in magazine !


These are probably my best decorative cupcakes but I still need to improve.


Nigella's double blue cheese crostini. Lovely !

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