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 …


90 Comments Add yours

  1. bluebee says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’d like to swat her with my spatula sometimes 😦

      1. Greg says:

        If you ever get close enough I volunteer to spank her with your spatula instead. I’m sure she’d enjoy a spanking from me more than a swatting from you…! I know I would 😛

      2. theonlycin says:

        Norty Greg 😉

  2. Count Czardas says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Gorgeous is in the eye of the beholder *spits Merlot in the Tsar’s eye*

      1. No, no, don’t waste good wine like that. 😉

      2. theonlycin says:

        You have a point, Mandy 😉

  3. I’m not familiar with Nigella. But the cake sure looks delicious! Blessings to you, Cindy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Have a super week, Carol 🙂

  4. leigh says:


  5. souldipper says:

    *Send card to Nigella thanking her for another very good reason to not cook. Warn her – Cin with a Ninja spatula is not a pretty picture.*

    1. theonlycin says:

      Add onto your message to Nigella that I wield a mean rolling pin too *fierce look*

  6. adeeyoyo says:

    LMAO I too hate mixed measures, Cin! 😆

    1. theonlycin says:

      She really could just have said half a cup of cocoa, adee 😦

  7. Hahahahahha….awesome post!! Thanks for the laugh, even though I have no idea who Nigella is 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      She’s a sturdy British celeb cook, Redneckprincess. Thanks for the visit, pleased to make your acquaintance.

      1. Nice to meet you too 🙂 and LOL…sturdy British celeb cook…love it 🙂

      2. theonlycin says:

        Hope nobody rats on me 😉 She’s bigger than me and could do some damage with the flick of her wrist …

  8. well the cake looks good. the real question is how does it taste?

    1. theonlycin says:

      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.

  9. earlybird says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I guess it didn’t hurt that her second husband owns one of the largest advertising agencies in the world?

      1. earlybird says:

        that’s what I mean! grrrrr

      2. theonlycin says:

        I echo your grrrrr 🙂

  10. Nzwaa says:

    I had fun reading this 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Sweetie 🙂

  11. After all that you went through, the cake does look very good, so well worth the effort?
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      I haven’t tasted it, but I will concede that it is a good looking cake.

  12. Leeswammes says:

    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.

      1. Pseu says:

        Measure that on your metric kitchen scales…. 🙂

  13. Lidia Theron says:

    This is so funny, I had to laugh. What was the vedict? The proof of the pudding…

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll let you know once it’s been tasted.

  14. Griet says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I need to do serious work-catch-up today, Griet 😦

  15. Napier says:

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

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Napes, I thought everyone loved her and that I would get lots of flak from her fans 😉

  16. Supa says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I think we need a HATE NIGELLA CLUB badge?

      1. Count Czardas says:

        The badges should be green.

      2. theonlycin says:

        *gives the Tsar a whack upside the head*

  17. Rosemary says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Rosemary, I grudgingly agree that it did come out nicely.

    2. earlybird says:

      lots of her recipes don’t work (well in the one book I tore up they didn’t) It almost certainly wasn’t your fault.

  18. Alida says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      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 🙂

      1. Pseu says:

        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?

      2. theonlycin says:

        I have a set of measures, Pseu, so I use those for cup sizes 🙂

      3. Pseu says:

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

  19. Tandy says:

    another case of bad editing! but the cake looks awesome xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      It does hey? 🙂

  20. Liane says:

    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…)

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s too rich for icing (she puts a cream cheese frosting on) and I think whipped cream will do the trick.

  21. 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

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too, my angel-pie 🙂

  22. LOL – brilliant post…you got me thinking about my recipes and whether the weights/measurements are consistent!!! off to check……*worry, worry*

    1. theonlycin says:

      I think I’d have let it go if it was any other cook, but I was a bit grumpy yesterday, so I let rip 😉

  23. Marisa says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for the visit and comment, Marisa 🙂

  24. 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????

    1. theonlycin says:

      Will let you know about the taste, of course the heart was for you 😉

  25. Baglady says:

    It must all have been worth it in the end coz that is a beautiful cake.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Baglady, it does look quite impressive.

  26. Pseu says:

    Great post… I hope you’re feeling better now, Cindy!

    I agree with Marissa… 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ve just eaten a slice of the cake and do feel better, thanks Pseu 🙂

  27. Colleen says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I just put some whipped cream on, it’s quite a dense cake, almost like a firm chocolate mousse 🙂

  28. Tilly Bud says:

    I feel like that about all recipes so it must be really painful for a true cook.

    1. theonlycin says:

      LOL, Tilly, funny lady 🙂

  29. Jamie Dedes says:

    Chuckling here. Love the pic of your kitchen !!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It took me ages to clean up :O

  30. gospelwriter says:

    I personally wouldn’t touch a recipe like that… the cake, even naked as it is, does look rather good though. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      And the proof really was in the eating 🙂

  31. nrhatch says:

    Bwahaha! She’s is not my favorite Celeb Chef.

    I’d rather watch Cinfully Delicious! starring The Only Cin!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Nancy, you sure are a lady with good taste 😉

  32. slpmartin says:

    I cannot say when I’ve enjoyed reading a recipe more…thanks went prefectly well with my first cup of coffee this morning. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Charlie 🙂

  33. linda says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Must have been a good party if you don’t remember 😉

  34. Harold says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Good luck with your baking and thanks for the visit, Harold 🙂

  35. Tokeloshe says:

    Great post!

    You know I love Guinness 😉

  36. 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 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I hope to read more about your mom and aunt, they sound like my kind of gals 🙂

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