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Nov/Dec DESSERT COOKBOOK OF THE MONTH - HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS, Nigella Lawson

Okay, here we go. I suggest the following threads:

[Links edited in by Chowhound Team at Oakjoans' request]
CAKES and PIES http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568972
DESSERTS and CHOCOLATE http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568979
DOMESTIC GODDESS PANTRY http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568983
CHILDREN and CHRISTMAS http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568982
BREAD and YEAST http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568976
COOKIES, SCONES and MUFFINS http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568974

I had somewhat of a hard time finding Nigella recipes from this specific book online. Her website is down (in the process of redesigning). Any links you all can find would be GREATLY appreciated.

Here are some links, followed by a list of errata/corrections to early edition of the book:

http://www.everydaycook.com/books/dom...

http://www.mumsnet.com/Recipes?call=R...

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/recipe...

http://viciousange-index.blogspot.com...

http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/minisite...

http://www.recipezaar.com/cookbook.ph...

http://nigella.proboards7.com/index.c...
(This site requires registration and sign-in

)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

List of errata and corrections in early edition of HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS

My Mother-In-Law's Madeira Cake
"450g loaf tin" should read "23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin"

Easy Almond Cake
Baking powder mentioned in the method should be ignored.

Rosemary Loaf Cake
"450g loaf tin" should read "23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin"

Lemon-Syrup Loaf Cake
"450g loaf tin" should read "23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin"

Lily's Scones
"25g Trex, in teaspooned lumps (or use another 75g butter)" should read "25g Trex, in teaspooned lumps (or use another 25g butter)"

Strawberry Shortcakes
The recipes makes 8, not 6.

Chestnut Ice-Cream Meringue Cake
The amount of vanilla extract is half teaspoon.

Chocolate Mousse Cake
Only the egg yolks should be beaten with the sugar - the whites are used later.

Soot's Flapjacks
UK Edition
"50g golden syrup" should read "150g golden syrup". The flapjacks should be allowed to cool in the tin before cutting.

US Edition
On page 232 the recipe for Soot's Flapjacks needs these ingredient changes:
It should read:
4 and a half cups rolled oats
Half cup light corn syrup

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  1. I just went through my copy of the book to look for the corrections and errata, and I think that perhaps it should also be pointed out that these corrections refer not only to an early edition, but also to the British edition!

    1. Wasn't sure if we are going to have dueling Nov. - Dec. cookbooks, oakjoan. Now I realise this is the Dessert Cookbook of the Month. Whew.....
      The titles do look interesting, though.

      1. Please please please let my oven be fixed soon. I'm so excited to cook from this book.

        1. So "desserts" cover "plain 'ol bread", so to speak? I would consider (getting) the cookbook if there are good bread variations... I'm interested in flavored breads, herbed breads... like foccacia.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Scargod

            Scargod: Even the plain old bread chapter has sweet stuff - cinnamon buns and a recipe I HAVE GOT TO TRY! --- Processor Danish Pastry!

            1. re: oakjoan

              I've looked more closely at the Bread chapter, as follows:

              There are a couple of basic bread recipes (Essential White Loaf, Sourdough, and My Brown Bread) but there are also recipes for Potato Bread, Finnish Rye, Norwegian Mountain Loaf, Maple Pecan Bread, Bagels, Hearthbreads, Schiacacciata (Florentine for focaccia), Flatbread, Lahmacun (Turkish "pizza"), German Plum Tart (yeasted), Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Kuchens, Norwegian Cinnamon Buns, Schnecken(German sticky buns), Processor Danish Pastry, and a Tarte Tatin made with the Danish pastry dough.

              1. re: oakjoan

                The danishes are fabulous. I've made them many times and people rave about them.

                I thought the Norwegian cinnamon buns were stodgy, with too high a bread-to-goo ratio.

                1. re: CathleenH

                  Cathleen: I laughed out loud at your post. I've never read a better description of "stodgy" buns: "too high a bread-to-goo ratio." Perfectly said.

              2. re: oakjoan

                I've made the cinnamon buns and they are excellent.

            2. I don't suppose the title of this thread could be edited to say Dessert COTM, could it? It's a little confusing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                Duh! Of course it can. Sheesh, gotta check the individual threads, too.

                This is what comes of doing stuff while doing other stuff.

              2. Here's the recipe for the incredibly easy chocolate-orange cake I made today.

                http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.c...

                1 Reply
                1. re: greedygirl

                  Was it good on top of being easy?

                2. Thus far I have made two recipes from this book. The first one I tried was My Mother-In-Law's Madeira Cake and the second one was the Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake. About the Madeira cake Nigella says that it "is one of those plain cakes that you think you can't see the point of until you start eating it." Well, I have to say that even after I started eating it, I still can't see the point! I love plain cake, and I guess that it was just too plain for me. I would probably prefer vanilla to lemon, which didn't give the cake enough oomph, IMHO. As to the Chocolate Loaf Cake, it was quite tasty, but when Nigella says that it's a damp cake, I found that wet might be a better description! I had a issue with the outside of the cake getting too brown while the interior was downright soggy. I had to leave it in the oven a bit longer to try to cook the interior to a point where it wouldn't puddle when it was cut, and this caused the outside of the cake to get a bit overdone. I cut off the end and started slicing from about an inch in. The taste was very good, and everyone who tried it loved it, but it looked nothing like the photo in the book. Mine did sink in the middle, as expected, but much more so than the recipe indicated.

                  The other issue I have with the book is that many of the recipes call for self-rising cake flour, which I never have in the house. I had to look up equivalencies, which is not what I want to do when I am baking. I also wish that the recipes had weights for ingredients, which I find ever so much more exact and far easier. At the very least, I wish that the recipes that call for self-rising cake flour, also had the amounts for regular cake flour, baking powder and salt.

                  Despite these problems, I am still smitten with this book since her descriptions make everything sound so darn appealing. I actually went out and bought a box of self-rising cake flour so that I could make more of the recipes without the hassle of converting amounts.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: roxlet

                    I've had similar problems with the chocolate loaf cake, but I find that it works well if I add about 15 min. on to the cooking time, and cover loosely with foil for those last minutes to prevent the top burning. I persist because I absolutely love that cake. It's my favorite chocolate cake hands down.

                    The British edition has weight measurements, so you might want to get that if you think it may be worthwhile. And I hear what you say about the self-raising flour. But I just started keeping some in the house. Problem solved.

                    1. re: Kagey

                      Yes, I bought a box of self-rising flour, which occasioned my husband's comment, "What are we doing with all this cake flour." Unfortunately, he's not a cake person!

                      1. re: roxlet

                        I meant to add that meanwhile, I sometimes use the self-rising in place of flour and leavening in other cake recipes, and so far it's worked very well in most cases. I think it's because Nigella's recipes are pretty forgiving.

                      2. re: Kagey

                        yes, i make that chocolate cake the same way and i love it, never a problem with burning. i wonder if that could have anything to do with the pan used? i also line the pan with parchment and let it cool before slicing.

                        it is deliciously simple, easy to make, and everyone always loves it. i feel like i am cheating when i make it.

                        1. re: pigtails

                          pigtails:

                          I feel pretty much like I'm cheating with many of Nigella's recipes, but they're almost always sooo good that I don't mind the larceny.

                      3. re: roxlet

                        I have to disagree. I have made the Madeira Cake on countless occasions and it is probably the cake I make the most often from How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I think the Madeira Cake is the easiest cake to make and the most comforting to eat - it is perfect with a cup of tea.

                        I have also made the Chocolate Loaf Cake many times and it has worked out perfectly each time, though I do need to bake it for an extra 5 minutes or so. The cake does continue to "cook" as it cools, so I wouldn't leave it much longer in the oven as it will definitely dry out.

                        Hopefully some other recipes will work out better for you!

                      4. Any chance you could put the links in the master thread, oj. I seem to have discovered a passion for baking, and it took me ages to find the relevant thread to post about my efforts! Thank you kindly, missus.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: greedygirl

                          Yes, I put mine in the wrong spot. Sorry!

                          1. re: roxlet

                            I'm sorry, roxlet! You must be imprisoned on the Island of Lost Bakers for a period of 400 years!

                            Hey! I don't make the rules, just enforce them.

                            I'll try to put up the links. In a pinch, one can always "search this board" for "Domestic Goddess" or some such.

                            1. re: oakjoan

                              Can I move that post, or is it, what's done is done?

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Roxlet, perhaps you can just cut and paste the text of your post into the other thread?

                                ~TDQ

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to state the obvious, I just meant that that would be one way to "move" it. :)

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      No, I'm an idiot -- I didn't even think of that!!!!

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        I'm sure you're not. I've never met a chowhound who was an idiot! Too discerning! :)

                                        P.S. thank you for your comments on the Nigella book. As much as I am trying to resist this cookbook (trying to avoid sweets right now!), I'm slowly being drawn in by wonderful posts like yours about how you're so "smitten" with the book. It sure does seem appealing!

                                        ~TDQ

                        2. Interesting. I'd never seen these errata before, and never noticed anything wrong in those recipes that I've made!

                          I love this book and have been using it for many years. I'd love to include the preserves/jam/chutney recipes too.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Kagey

                            Kagey: I did include those recipes. In my edition of the book they're all in The Domestic Goddess' Pantry chapter and I made a separate thread for that chapter.

                            1. re: oakjoan

                              ATTENTION: The links to the different recipe threads are now in the main post in this thread, above.

                          2. Hiya, I see a lot of delicious baking happening. I was nervous to jump in because I'd heard that there were some conversion issues in the first U.S. release of the cookbook. It sounds like no one is really having any problems with that, am I right? Perhaps I shouldn't be so afraid...

                            ~TDQ

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              I haven't had any conversion issues, as far as I can tell, although maybe some of the issues I've had ARE based on conversion issues. Hmmmm....

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                TDQ: Come on in, the water's fine.

                                There is a list of corrections at the beginning of this thread.

                              2. Funny, although this is being touted here as a dessert cookbook, the recipe I've made most often is the "supper onion pie". Regardless, this is my first Nigella cookbook, and I've loved her ever since.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: weem

                                  Oh, the Supper Onion Pie is really fantastic. One of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes, and it's great cold the next day as well.

                                  I've had good luck with the Peanut Butter Squares as well.

                                2. I had a problem a while back with the snickerdoodles recipe and it turned out that the conversions (US edition) were off. I actually wrote in to the Nigella website and got a very nice reply:

                                  Dear [MEELS],
                                  Let me give you the English version, though translated by Nigella now into cups and so forth, and see if that helps. Since Domestic Goddess, she has always insisted on providing the American quantities herself, whereas up to and including DG, the US publishers 'translated' from the metric version themselves.

                                  One and two thirds cups flour
                                  Half teasp ground nutmeg
                                  three quarters teasp baking powder
                                  half teasp salt
                                  One stick plus one tablespoon butter
                                  half a cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
                                  1 large egg
                                  1 teasp vanilla
                                  1 tablespoon cinnamon

                                  Good luck!
                                  Admin

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: meels

                                    Harumph! They're not Snickerdoodles unless they call for cream of tartar!

                                    http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/r...

                                    What's she doing messing with an American classic anyhow?

                                    Oh, now I'm desperately craving snickerdoodles!

                                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                      So the cream of tartar in baking soda isn't enough?

                                      Perplexed in Oakland

                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                        heh, oh, who knows? I've never done a taste off between the recipes. It's just that Snickerdoodles using cream of tartar for the leavening was fairly distinctive. It was just about the only recipe we used cream of tartar in when I was growing up. One of my sisters would always buy a new tin of cream of tartar whenever she craved snickdoodles (ending up with several stashed in the back of the cabinet, as you might imagine).

                                        If I really cared, I'd do a taste off. But it was mostly faux indignition, plus a desire to link to the original (afaik) recipe.