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Gorgeous recipes with a personal touch
How to Be a Domestic Goddess - Nigella Lawson
Member Name: dbram2011
How to Be a Domestic Goddess - Nigella Lawson
Advantages: Clear instructions, nice touch, gorgeous recipes
Disadvantages: Not all the recipes have photographs
I received Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess back last year as a birthday present. It was around the time I'd bought my first house and just starting to experiment more with cooking. Having quite a sweet tooth this tended to be more baking than anything else. Thinking back this must have been my first ever cook book. I must admit it is definitely still one of my favourites even now after my collection has multiplied by about 10!
For those who have seen Nigella's cookery programme, her food always look mouthwatering and lush! How to be a Domestic Goddess was actually Nigella's second book in 2000. She has since gone on and published a number of successful cookery books including "Nigella Bites" and "Kitchen, Recipes from the heart of the home".
Something I didn't know about Nigella is that she wasn't a professional cook. When looking up some of her books I came across her first one called "How to Eat". She describes herself not as a chef but instead as a professional eater. I quite like this as it gives you a bit more confidence that if she can cook all this wonderful and gorgeous food then with some practice perhaps I can too.
Nigella has this very relaxed approach to cooking even on her cookery shows you see her embracing food. She is definitely not afraid of the high calorie and high fat content of her recipes. You really would expect her to be about twice the size with all the comfort food she cooks and eats!
Nigella describes this book not as a baking book but instead a book about baking. The book itself is nicely laid out with a very brief introduction about equipment and ingredients before diving straight into the recipes. Similar to the layout of other cook books this one has been split into a number sections typically cakes, biscuits, pies, puddings, chocolate and breads and yeast. There is also a section for Children, Christmas and a Domestic Goddess Larder.
The children's section is a nice touch as it gives you nice recipes that are quite easy to make with children in mind. Obviously this isn't restricted to children. I have tried the banana muffins and the rocky road both which have been loved by adults and children. I am also very tempted to have a go at making the peanut butter squares!
The Christmas section is not large, it gives you your well known traditional recipes such as the mince pies and Christmas cake. It also gives you some other ideas for Christmas or alternatives to these traditional treats. Such as Italian spicy fruit cake called certosino and frangipane mince pies!!!
The Domestic Goddess Larder is again a nice touch for something a little more than just baking. There are a variety of recipes for things like curds, pickles, jams and chutneys. I must admit I haven't yet had a go at these mainly because its not something I would usually use in my house. None the less the recipes do look and sound lovely.
I would probably say the only downside to this book is that not all of the recipes have a photograph. The photographs that are in the book are obviously gorgeous, its just a shame that all the recipes don't have one. I like to have pictures to be able to compare the end product to see whether it looks the same.
The recipes are laid out well and have simple instructions. Some of the recipes do look a little daunting and complex as some do have large lists of ingredients but it is worth it. The instructions are really clear so it can be done. I must admit I have surprised myself with some of the recipes, the Christmas cake being one of them. It looked a lot more complex than it actually was.
The best thing about this book is that Nigella makes it extremely personal. I often wonder how people come about recipes in cookbooks or how they decide what should be included. In this book Nigella introduces every recipe with a paragraph or two. It may be an explanation on where the recipe originated from, why she likes it so much or even just a personal experience about the recipe. I think this is a really nice touch which makes the book and food feel really comforting and homely.
I thought I might include some of my favourites that I have come across in the book so far. Obviously I haven't had a go at every single recipe but there are a couple in the book that I keep going back to.
The first one being what she calls the Autumnal Birthday Cake which is exactly what I have used it for. I can't make my mind up if its the cake or the icing which makes this extremely tasty or just a combination of both. I will admit there is a lot of high calorie food that goes into the cake which if you think too much about will probably put you off it. Its probably best to eat once or twice a year otherwise you will definitely be the size of a house.
The welsh cake recipe is actually a new addition to my favourites list. I realise there isn't anything special or unique about a welsh cake however I made these the other day for my other half. He being welsh likes to think himself as a welsh cake expert taster with his mums welsh cakes as you would expect being the best. In the past I have tried other recipes and although he would never complain he would always suggest it needed something else. I made the welsh cakes last week using Nigella recipe and was really pleased to receive an 8/10 which for him and welsh cakes I am over the moon with! He's even asked if I'll make him some more!
The RRP for the book is £17.99 (paperback) however on Amazon you can buy it new for around the £11 mark.
Summary: Lots of calories, lots of tasty treats
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