SHOUTING AT NIGELLA

It started out a tranquil enough Sunday morning. I had my Calvinist work ethic nicely in place and intended to get at least one chapter of editing done. But first I wanted to tackle mynakedbokkie’s request and bake Nigella’s Guiness Cake. (She asked so nicely and, besides, I had a bottle of milk stout from my – bottomless – #FBI2011 goodie bag.)

Now, I have long harboured ambivalent feelings about the BBC’s buxom lass; my husband says I don’t like her because I’m jealous that she nabbed Charles Saatchi before I could get to him, but the truth of the matter is that she sticks her fingers in her food and then licks them. I think this is an erotic little ploy to get the blokes to watch her programmes. I also don’t like her recipe-writing style; she’s not consistent when it comes to weights vs volumes.

Still, my GBF gave me one of her books as a gift some years back, which necessitated the addition of a digital scale to my kitchen and – to justify this expensive appliance – I do dip into Mrs Saatchi’s recipes from time to time.

  • 250ml Guinness Our bottles are 340ml, Nigella, what do I do with the remaining 90ml, you wasteful hussy!
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 75g cocoa
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 1 x 142ml pot sour cream What’s this in weight, you silly cow? Sour cream is semi-solid, for heavens sakes, it’s not easy to get a liquid measurement!!! And 142ml? That TWO ml is going make a difference???
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract Now we’re onto teaspoons, are we???
  • 275g plain flour Why not just tell me how many bloody cups this is, Nigella, you’re irritating me. Look what you’ve gone and done; Mister Taylor was happily reading the paper at the kitchen table and you’ve made me swear like an Irishman and now you’ve chased him away.
  • 2 1/2teaspoons bicarbonate of soda Whatever, you foolish woman, between scales, teaspoons, Tablespoons, measuring jugs … my kitchen looks like a bomb’s hit it. I hate you.

By the time I got the cake into the oven, I was in the crossest mood and the air in my kitchen was blue with my curses. I went back to my editing and was unduly harsh on the innocent author, I hope you’re satisfied, mynakedbokkie!

Sheesh! The things I do in the name of friendship …

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90 thoughts on “SHOUTING AT NIGELLA

  1. ho, ho – I have the exact same feelings about Nigella and want to scream when I hear her say things like “a hint of inner thigh wibble” (yes, that’s “wibble”, not “wobble”) And, no, I’m not jealous that my husband likes that plummy English accent!

  2. So it’s not because she is gorgeous that you ladies get all defensive and jealous when she comes on the telly ? It’s her consistency in terms of weights vs volumes ? H’mmmmmm.

    • It’s sitting untouched under a glass dome. I am going to dress it with whipped cream and take it over to the ad agency people later. Will let you know their verdict.

  3. I can’t stand the woman! But I won’t go on about it here. She doesn’t deserve the space. But I loved your post. So you did follow the recipe then?!! 🙂 I found so many of her recipes didn’t work in one book that I had been given that I tore it up. Luckily no one has ever given me another.

    I don’t think she’s a cook. She’s a publicity product. People felt sorry for her when her husband died. And she had good contacts.

  4. I’m having the opposite problem: what is this with these cups? They’re a totally oldfashioned way of measuring things. Digital is what we want.

    How am I supposed to know how many cups I can get out of my kilo of flour? I was shocked that a cup of peanut butter took almost my whole jar!

    We have everything here (Netherlands) in grams and kilograms and to me, that makes more sense. The weight vs volume debate! Yay!

    Your cake looks very good.

  5. Bahahaha, so that is what the crossness was about. My dear Cin, thank you for the laugh so early on a Monday morning, even made Hubby smile( in the morning that is a mean feat). I hope that your Monday morning is way better – now get into your work mode. Big hugs.
    XX

  6. So pleased to know that I am not alone in switching channels when Ms N is on! She really grates me.
    Wonderful post Cin.

  7. I can’t believe that there are people who haven’t hear of Nigella? As you know the woman grates my carrot with her overly descriptive writing style. I also want to hit her.

  8. I am not a fan of Nigella either – I hate the way she eats. And watching her kids eat makes me ever crosser! Wouldn’t allow table manners like that in my house – from her or her kids.
    That said, the one recipe of her I tried failed horribly. I blame her, but I guess I could have been me.
    Your cake looks lovely.

  9. Oh gosh, it might not be a good idea for me, shameless Nigella fan, to comment. I do agree that her recipes are hard for South-Africans to follow but in her defense, those measurements are for UK products, just like some of my recipes are hard for my International readers to follow because our products are measured differently.

    But I won’t tell you all the reasons why I love her but I do think the one thing she’s done is made cooking sexy again and I know of many people who started cooking because of her, which is pretty awesome. OK, I’ll go away now… hehe

    • It just irks me that she changes from weights to volume in the same recipe; this one, for example, could just have stated that the cocoa measured half a cup instead of farting about with scales. Thanks for the visit, Alida 🙂

      • We don’t use ‘cup’ measurements in UK, Cindy, not generally…
        so when I come to use an American or South African recipe book I have to work out what a cup measurement is…
        now is that tea cup, or a breakfast cup, or something else?

      • I have only seen a set of measures for table, tea and half teaspoons… I shall have to look out for cup measurers

  10. Fingers in her cooking… luckily the viewers of her program is not eating it :/ She should put a disclaimer: “Licking at own risk.” The 142ml is probably the size of a container in which you buy the cream wherever she lives (use the whole tubby) – Europe somewhere – but it doesn’t help anyone else who don’t live there? hmm… I have to say I prefer the cups and spoons – I don’t have a scale, but it can’t be too bad; the cake is in the shape of a heart 🙂 (P.S. curious about the decoration…)

  11. Oh Cin, reading this had me snorting my coffee up my nose…bwhahahahahahaha. I am glad nobody has ever given me a Nigella book because then my mom would ban me from the kitchen altogether because even with normal measurements I leave the kitchen looking like a bomb has hit it. Hope you have a super week! xxx

  12. I fear I’m going to stir now, but her measurements doesn’t seem inconsistent to me at all really. They’re predominantly in grams and ml, which is what one would expect from a cookbook author. The only things which are in tbsp and tsp are things like vanilla essence and baking soda, which *no-one* weighs. Her recipes follow the above pretty consistently from what I’ve seen. Incidentally, these are the same guidelines I received from our very own Michael Olivier when writing for Crush!.

    Oh and PS: Yes, I do love Nigella, so I might just be slightly biased here!

  13. That was brilliant!!!! Thank you so much for taking the challenge on!!! Was the heart especially for me….haha?
    Must be honest- looking at the state of the kitchen….I do wonder if i actually want to tackle it?
    Now just waiting for the taste????
    xx

  14. HAHA! Had such a laugh at this cross post pretty little Cinders….but that cake looks absolutely glorious. I wonder…..creme fraiche and some raspberries maybe……That remaining guinness would be wonderful in a good sturdy beef hotpot or the filling for a beef and guinness pie maybe! Sorry, I do like Nigella. I have made a lot of her recipes and they have all worked really well for me!

  15. My kitchen looks like that everytime I cook. Yuck. For Christmas my daughter in law made one of those cakes. I don’t remember if I tasted it though.

  16. Glad you tried it Cin! Not being a drinker it takes a special list to get the guiness, but I will try it. We have some sort of chocolate brew left, bought for a cake ten years ago. Never made the cake again.

  17. That’s so funny….. but thankyou. You see, I feel EXACTLY the same way about Nigella’s style as well., always have. My Mom & Aunt do this crazy hilarious Nigella thing (yes wine is involved) when I photograph some of their food, as they too feel the same. I’ve never loved her recipes although I do admit she sometimes comes up with awesome flavour combo’s. OK, that’s enough praise for the hussy huh.
    Loved this post 🙂

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