WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. See full guidelines here.

Delia Smith: live webchat, TODAY, Thursday 28 February, 1-2pm

(129 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 27-Feb-13 09:46:18

To mark the end of #FoodFeb, our month long celebration of great food, we're delighted that Delia Smith is joining us tomorrow (Thursday 28 Feb) between 1 and 2pm for a webchat.

Delia last joined us in late November 2011 where she talked about everything from perfect gravy to Christmas pud. She's back this time to celebrate the launch of her latest book Delia's Cakes. Delia's Book of Cakes was first published in 1977, and has never been out of print. To celebrate its success it has undergone a complete contemporary makeover. Delia's Cakes includes timeless classics like coffee and walnut sponge and old-fashioned cherry cake as well as new recipes such as iced hidden strawberry cup cakes and chunky marmalade muffins.

The Delia Online Cookery School also launches this Thursday 28th at www.deliaonline.com.

Delia will be announcing the winners of our cake decorating competition and answering your questions between 1 and 2pm on Thursday. As ever, if you're unable to make that time, do post your question in advance to this thread.

gazzalw Wed 27-Feb-13 09:56:51

Hi Delia

Our children (one at primary and one at secondary school in multi-cultural London) have two 'International Food Days' coming up in March. We are at a loss as to what to cook to showcase British cuisine at its best, but which is easy to transport (on foot no car!), relatively cheap, easy to prepare and is a dish best served cold (as no cooking/heating provision).

Mindful that we are up against some fantastic international cuisine, particularly middle-Eastern, Asian and Eastern European, we would like to come up with something a bit more 'wow' than picnic staples such as jam and cucumber sandwiches, scotch eggs and sausage rolls which were as good as it got on the British stand last year! We are considering sweet and savoury options.

Would welcome your suggestions!

Many thanks

dietstartstmoz Wed 27-Feb-13 11:11:57

Hello Delia.
I am a complete novice when it comes to baking. I am 40 and have only ever done ready-made cake mixes. My youngest child has a nut allergy so we have to be careful what we buy. I would love to start baking so i know what we are eating and have healthier options for my children. But where do i start? I will be buying your book, but what recipes should i consider starting with. I need something easy to follow that requires v little skill! Also what equipment should i start with? I dont own a cake tin and am a bit clueless about the basics. Do you have any fool-proof tips for a complete beginner? Thanks so much

Ashoething Wed 27-Feb-13 11:19:15

Thanks for joining us on mn delia-I am a big fan!

Do you have any easy no-bake cakes recipes? I am currently without an ovensad and I am really missing my baking. Thanks.

rockinhippy Wed 27-Feb-13 11:57:27

Hi Delia smile

Can you give any tips & maybe a fail safe recipe for a good light & fluffy wholemeal seeded loaf, even better if it can be cooked, or at least risen in a crocpot.

I manage fine when baking white, whether I use strong white or basic flour for artisan breads, but every time I try to make a healthier loaf, be it following a recipe or trying my own, which I'm normally okay with in other areas - it comes out a cross between biscotti & a soggy heavy fruit loaf

The one I made yesterday for example looked like it was all going fine, rose beautifully in my crocpot, neaded well & wasn't sticky when i finished, it went in the oven & looked like I was going to have a huge fluffy artisan seeded loaf - but it soread sideways, not upwards & actually seemed to lose hieght sad it tasted great but ended up about an inch deep & you need a hacksaw to cut itconfused - also what am I doing wrong with seedy toppings - mine all fell offshock

Thank you smile

cheddarcheeselover Wed 27-Feb-13 12:19:47

dietstartstmoz look up delias all in one sponge, you literally cannot go wrong with it, I've used it for everything from fairy cakes to birthday cakes!

will think up a question soon....love delia!

Hi Delia
I love your books and have had great success with your recipes.
I was wondering if you ever turn to other peoples cookbooks and if so, which ones?
(also, do you ever wish you'd got to do the Great British Bake Off?)
Thank you.

rockinhippy Wed 27-Feb-13 12:52:40

BtW -.wtf are they doing replacing You for Pippa name only know no real foody finnesse or baking experience Middleton shock

elizabethaaliyah Wed 27-Feb-13 13:07:30

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Blatherskite Wed 27-Feb-13 13:50:50

Delia, I'd like to say thank you for your Christmas cake recipe. I make multiple cakes every Christmas and it is always loved by whoever tries it, I even made it for our wedding cake and came home from honeymoon to find a stack of requests for the recipe.

Do you have any good slow cooker recipes? I was given one for Christmas but am really struggling to find something the whole family likes to cook in it.

magimedi Wed 27-Feb-13 13:52:56

Back in the 1980's, when I was learning to cook, I remember you being on Womans' Hour & the presenter asking you what you did about lumpy gravy. You replied that everyone had lumpy gravy sometimes & that's what sieves were made for.

That remark gave me such confidence about cooking & I've never forgotten it.

Thank you.

Hi Delia. I'd like to ask if you think that the obesity crisis can be tackled (partly) by children spending more time in proper cooking lessons in school. Perhaps the government needs an adviser...would you be up for it?!

pirouette Wed 27-Feb-13 19:25:23

Welcome Delia,

What is your favourite vegetarian recipe please?

And thank you x a million for your four nut chocolate brownies.

funkypigeon Wed 27-Feb-13 19:51:27

Hi Delia

I love your all in one sponge cake recipe.

I've never managed to make a chocolate cake that is super moist though. Can you give me some pointers on how to achieve this?

blondieminx Wed 27-Feb-13 21:16:07

Hi Delia

How wonderful to have you on Mumsnet smile

What is your favourite "quick dinner"?

Hi Delia,

I love your books and have no doubt the cake one will find its way into my kitchen before too long. I also love your TV programmes and was wondering if you had any in the pipeline?

Jux Wed 27-Feb-13 21:40:07

Hi Delia, how exciting! My mum had all your books (which I have inherited). Until she read your all-in-one method for cakes, she couldn't make them - they were always flat as pancakes, and she was shamed as her MIL made amazing, magnificent cakes and always looked when my mum's offerings were brought in. So once she got your method you saved my mother from many blushes!

What would you say was the one, most important thing to a successful cake?

Also, when adapting quantities for smaller or larger than the recipe specifies, how do you adjust timings?

Also, I think cakes these days are much sweeter than in my youth (late 60s/early 70s). Have the recipes changed, or is the sugar sweeter now?

OK that's 3 questions. blush MN will ban me.

Valpollicella Wed 27-Feb-13 22:02:20

Hi Delia

How did you feel about the negativity about your Cheat series?

I grew up watching you and now DS enjoys watching your shows on various food channels. In his words 'she's better than Jamie. She looks like she is being more careful and cooking carefully and nicely' hmm grin

senua Wed 27-Feb-13 22:39:27

I haven't got a question really. Just a huge thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for the Christmas cake / pud / mincemeat recipes thanks. They get trundled out every year and never fail to please: no need to 'upate' or 'ring the changes' because they are perfection. And the coffee and walnut cake mentioned in the intro is to die for!

Oh, I have a sort-of question. Can I second Jux's query: is there a formula for working out different timings when scaling up/down a cake?

zipzap Thu 28-Feb-13 01:10:14

Hi Delia

Another one here who loves your books.

I love things like beef bourguignon, beef in beer/ale, coq au vin, anything with a good slug or three of booze in really, etc and was just wondering if you knew at what age you can let kids eat them in relation to the alcohol content? I've got out the habit of cooking them as I have young dc and realised the other day that I need to start making them again as I miss them, I'm just hoping the dc are old enough to eat them.

I kind of assume that the alcohol is cooked out in the process of cooking them (I have slow cooker so tend to do them in that but also sometimes do them in the oven or on the hob) but it would be nice to know for sure!

My dc are 7 and 4 if that makes any difference!

wine Cheers Many thanks

KatieMiddleton Thu 28-Feb-13 01:20:05

Hi Delia,

Forget the food, what i really want to know is how you manage to look about 30 years younger than you actually are?

But if we must talk food, which cook books do you own besides yours?

Thank you kindly

GreatGooglyMoogly Thu 28-Feb-13 08:12:39

Hi Delia,

I have a lot of trouble with my oven - it often browns things on one side of it (the right) faster than the other. Would you recommend yours or one you've used and liked? Thanks smile

TaggieCampbellBlack Thu 28-Feb-13 09:01:05

Hello Delia.

I love cake. It contains all the most important food groups; carbs, fat, sugar.......

What is your favourite cake?

Also - I have to do lunch and cake for 50 people. Any suggestions?

thanks

iYawn Thu 28-Feb-13 11:11:02

Hi Delia
Thanks for coming on Mumsnet.

Was at friend's house for supper recently.

When they brought out the food (lamb shoulder and then some kind of meringuey roulade thing) the guests went oooh and "wow"

Don't normally go into the competitive cooking thing but we are having the "wow"ers to our house soon and I am rather anxious that they don't feel like what we're serving is peasant slop in comparison (!)

Now desperately looking for something that will have same show-stopping impact.

I am vaguely competent in the kitchen but prefer things that can mostly be prepped in advance as tend to chat too much and forget things am easily flustered under stress.

ANy ideas?
Thanks so much

Mitchy1nge Thu 28-Feb-13 11:13:27

Delia, don't you think it is a tiny bit naughty to promote the baking of cakes during Lent? shock

ButteryJam Thu 28-Feb-13 12:31:38

Hi Delia,

Can you recommend a cake recipe that is really easy to make and contains raspberry jam inside it in some capacity to the other? Thanks!

Can you give 5 ideas for recipes that can be cooked from scratch in 30-45 minutes?

fallenempires Thu 28-Feb-13 12:53:41

Hi Delia!
A question re:fruitcakes for you.
Despite allowing a few days for the marzipan to dry out why do I sometimes find that it can apparently seep out in places leaving the sugar paste slightly tinged?Is this due to the quality of marzipan used or my overly generous feeding of the cake?I tend to use supermarket bought marzipan but always home made or Renshaw sugar paste.

sophe29 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:02:50

Hi Delia

One of my earliest memories is being taken out of nursery ( aged about 3 or 4 years)to come to one of your book signings with my mum. Apparently I told you I made very good biscuits and would you like the recipe?

Anyway, 30 years later I still regularly use your recipes and love your TV series. I was watching an old one recently where you introduced us a new soft cheese called "mozzarella". You also introduced us all to items such as cranberries and halloumi, all of which were very exotic at the time.

What do you think the next big, as yet undiscovered food stuff/trend is going to be?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 28-Feb-13 13:03:17

We're delighted to welcome Delia back to Mumsnet. She's here and ready to answer your questions.

Iseeall Thu 28-Feb-13 13:04:52

Hello Delia

I have been a big fan for years, your 1980s complete cookery book is my cookery bible.
My question/cookery problem is icing. I love to make your traditional xmas cake but cannot ice a cake to say my life. I have tried the nut topped cake but dh does not like nut topped cakes. Help please....thank

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:05:14

Hello Mumsnet, I'm very happy to be here again, last time was sensational. This is a very special day for me, because it's the first time a cookery book and an online cookery school have coincided and I hope you'll all join in. Have a look at the cookery school, and give me some feedback from all the family!

So now, keep the questions coming

Hi Delia, Welcome,

I've already posted this further up, but do you have plans for any more TV programmes at the moment?

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:08:00

Iseeall

Hello Delia

I have been a big fan for years, your 1980s complete cookery book is my cookery bible.
My question/cookery problem is icing. I love to make your traditional xmas cake but cannot ice a cake to say my life. I have tried the nut topped cake but dh does not like nut topped cakes. Help please....thank

Thank you for your kind comments. I'm not very good at icing myself, and so what we do is either make fondant icing, which you just roll out and plonk on top of the cake, along with some almond icing. Or, you can actually buy it ready made. All the instructions are in the book, or online, and we are a special video technique of icing a sponge cake on the cookery school.

Lostonthemoors Thu 28-Feb-13 13:08:41

I am an absolute baking novice and haven't made a cake since school smile

I now need to make one for a posh-ish charity afternoon tea for families - what is fool-proof, impressive and very easily sliceable?

Wifey63 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:08:42

Hi Delia,
I have attempted to make your Queens of Puddings several times recently, and used the bain marie method as suggested to cook the custard part of the dish. However, after adding the jam and meringue and returning to the oven, the meringue comes out perfectly, but the custard base is still liquid. Can you make any suggestions. Many thanks.
Lydia

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:09:04

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes

Hi Delia, Welcome,

I've already posted this further up, but do you have plans for any more TV programmes at the moment?

I have no plans to do anymore tv programmes because now we've started the cookery school online. I am very excited and very passionate about it as I think it's the very best thing I've ever done and it's by far the best way to teach people the basic skills of cooking. I need all of you on mumsnet to give me some feedback when you've all had a chance to have a look.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:09:40

sophe29

Hi Delia

One of my earliest memories is being taken out of nursery ( aged about 3 or 4 years)to come to one of your book signings with my mum. Apparently I told you I made very good biscuits and would you like the recipe?

Anyway, 30 years later I still regularly use your recipes and love your TV series. I was watching an old one recently where you introduced us a new soft cheese called "mozzarella". You also introduced us all to items such as cranberries and halloumi, all of which were very exotic at the time.

What do you think the next big, as yet undiscovered food stuff/trend is going to be?

I'm really sorry, I don't have a crystal ball! But, my ambition is that the online cookery school will replace the gap that's been left when cooking was taken out of schools, so the next really big trend will be home cooking back on the map.

Also, I was touched by your memory of 30 years ago!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:10:07

funkypigeon

Hi Delia

I love your all in one sponge cake recipe.

I've never managed to make a chocolate cake that is super moist though. Can you give me some pointers on how to achieve this?

Hello Funky Pigeon:
If you want a really super moist chocolate cake I have two recipes that were in the old book and are now in the new book which do not contain flour. And this is what makes them super moist. One is called Squidgy Chocolate Cake and the other is called Moist Chocolate and Rum Squares. Hope you like them.

DadOnIce Thu 28-Feb-13 13:12:02

Hello Delia - what recipe do you think people are most put off doing because they think it is too complex, when it is actually quite straightforward?

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:12:33

fallenempires

Hi Delia!
A question re:fruitcakes for you.
Despite allowing a few days for the marzipan to dry out why do I sometimes find that it can apparently seep out in places leaving the sugar paste slightly tinged?Is this due to the quality of marzipan used or my overly generous feeding of the cake?I tend to use supermarket bought marzipan but always home made or Renshaw sugar paste.

I haven't really got any answer on this one, other than I would use thicker icing. If it's seeping through, maybe the icing is too thin. I also wouldn't worry too much because it's about eating the cake, and just talking to you about it now makes me long to have a slice!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:13:02

blondieminx

Hi Delia

How wonderful to have you on Mumsnet smile

What is your favourite "quick dinner"?

Hello Blondie Minx: My favourite quick supper dish is an omelette made with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a green salad and it beats any ready meal going.

Thank you, I will certainly be looking at the online school, my children are at the perfect age (9 and 7) and we can hopefully use it on the Ipad while we cook.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:14:05

Wifey63

Hi Delia,
I have attempted to make your Queens of Puddings several times recently, and used the bain marie method as suggested to cook the custard part of the dish. However, after adding the jam and meringue and returning to the oven, the meringue comes out perfectly, but the custard base is still liquid. Can you make any suggestions. Many thanks.
Lydia

I fear this isn't my recipe, as I've never made a custard in a bain marie for a Queen of Puddings, so might I suggest that you try my recipe! It's brilliant!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:14:45

TotallyEggFlipped

Hi Delia
I love your books and have had great success with your recipes.
I was wondering if you ever turn to other peoples cookbooks and if so, which ones?
(also, do you ever wish you'd got to do the Great British Bake Off?)
Thank you.

Thank you I am so glad you like my books and yes I do like other people's
cookbooks. Elizabeth David, Robert Carrier, Margaret Costa, Simon Hopkinson are some of my favourites.

No don't want to do the Great British Bake off or be a judge for any cookery
competition. I always feel too sorry for the people who lose.

MrsLyman Thu 28-Feb-13 13:14:45

Hello, am I too late for a question? I'm currently trying to expand my range of family dinners. What is your favourite quick, easy but delicious dinner?

VenetiaLanyon Thu 28-Feb-13 13:14:58

Hi Delia,

I love all your books, and come back to them year after year.
Do you have any tips to stop fairy cakes coming out of the oven all pointy and mountainous? They don't look so good when you have to cut the tops off.

And how do I ice them neatly; my icing slides all over the place and down the sides of the paper case....

Thanks for any pointers! smile

cairnterrier Thu 28-Feb-13 13:15:54

Hi Delia

I love baking and it's something that I enjoy doing with my children as well. Sadly my eldest son has an egg allergy (and fish but that's a less common ingredient in cakes). Would you consider doing something with recipes that avoid some of the most common allergens so that we can all cook with our children?

Thank you.

PS Go the canaries!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:16:01

Lostonthemoors

I am an absolute baking novice and haven't made a cake since school smile

I now need to make one for a posh-ish charity afternoon tea for families - what is fool-proof, impressive and very easily sliceable?

This is such an easy one to answer! If you go to Delia Online now, this moment, there is a very detailed lesson on how to make the perfect sponge cake, and made properly, there's nothing to beat it. It will slice like a dream!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:16:13

magimedi

Back in the 1980's, when I was learning to cook, I remember you being on Womans' Hour & the presenter asking you what you did about lumpy gravy. You replied that everyone had lumpy gravy sometimes & that's what sieves were made for.

That remark gave me such confidence about cooking & I've never forgotten it.

Thank you.

Your comment about the sieve has made my day.

Kitkat0808 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:16:54

Are many of your baking recipes Gluten Free?

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:17:30

Mitchy1nge

Delia, don't you think it is a tiny bit naughty to promote the baking of cakes during Lent? shock

Absolutely not! I think my views on Lent are that there's enough difficulty and trouble in every day without having to find extra ones. Make a cake and share it with others would be the best thing you could do during Lent.

MardyBraWouldDoEddieRedmayne Thu 28-Feb-13 13:17:31

Hello Delia. My husband keeps moving your books out of prime position on my shelves and keeps replacing them with Nigella's because she is a simpering wench and he fancies her. Should I LTB?

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:20:13

gazzalw

Hi Delia

Our children (one at primary and one at secondary school in multi-cultural London) have two 'International Food Days' coming up in March. We are at a loss as to what to cook to showcase British cuisine at its best, but which is easy to transport (on foot no car!), relatively cheap, easy to prepare and is a dish best served cold (as no cooking/heating provision).

Mindful that we are up against some fantastic international cuisine, particularly middle-Eastern, Asian and Eastern European, we would like to come up with something a bit more 'wow' than picnic staples such as jam and cucumber sandwiches, scotch eggs and sausage rolls which were as good as it got on the British stand last year! We are considering sweet and savoury options.

Would welcome your suggestions!

Many thanks

Hello Gazzalaw:
As we're all geared up for cakes today I have been flicking through and I think what's typically British in the collection is Marmalade Cake because only the Brits do really good marmalade. The other one is Parkin. This can be Yorkshire or Lancashire, each claims is at its own but its an amazingly lovely sticky cake made with oatmeal. Hope that helps. Finally we have just had
a brain wave at the last minute another stunner would be Traditional Eccles Cakes.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:20:34

iYawn

Hi Delia
Thanks for coming on Mumsnet.

Was at friend's house for supper recently.

When they brought out the food (lamb shoulder and then some kind of meringuey roulade thing) the guests went oooh and "wow"

Don't normally go into the competitive cooking thing but we are having the "wow"ers to our house soon and I am rather anxious that they don't feel like what we're serving is peasant slop in comparison (!)

Now desperately looking for something that will have same show-stopping impact.

I am vaguely competent in the kitchen but prefer things that can mostly be prepped in advance as tend to chat too much and forget things am easily flustered under stress.

ANy ideas?
Thanks so much

I like to serve my recipe for pork chops with cream and mushrooms. You can brown the chops in advance, and allow them to cool. Then put the mushroom topping and the creme fraiche on, and they're wrapped in foil, so can just be popped in the oven just 45 minute before you want to eat.

As my new cakes book is out today, I'm going to recommend the fallen chocolate souffle cake, with prunes.

I'm not really much of a show-stopping cook myself! But if things taste really good, that's the most important thing. Good luck.

TheEdgesHat Thu 28-Feb-13 13:21:36

Hi Delia,

Now that Jamie has done school dinners, and James Martin is doing hospital food where do you think will get the celebrity chef treatment next and would you consider doing something like this?

PS without fail, every year I make your christmas cake and mincemeat, and nothing is ever left!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:22:25

Kitkat0808

Are many of your baking recipes Gluten Free?

Thank you for your question - when we finished testing all the recipes for the cakes book, we went through the whole lot again, testing them gluten-free, and I'm delighted to say that 90% can be baked gluten-free, with no problem!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:24:24

pirouette

Welcome Delia,

What is your favourite vegetarian recipe please?

And thank you x a million for your four nut chocolate brownies.

I'm afraid I don't have a favourite recipe of anything, but I love vegetarian cooking, and when my vegetarian friends come I often serve a four-cheese and spinach lasagne with pine nuts. And everyone always loves it.

The most popular vegetarian recipe in the catering at the football club is wild mushroom risotto.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:25:01

Ashoething

Thanks for joining us on mn delia-I am a big fan!

Do you have any easy no-bake cakes recipes? I am currently without an ovensad and I am really missing my baking. Thanks.

Got just what you need, and its called - Chocolate Fruit and Nut Refrigerator Cake and is in Delia's Cakes or there is another version of this which you can access from Deliaonline and it's called Chocolate Crunch Torte - hope you get your cooker back soon.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:25:54

Blatherskite

Delia, I'd like to say thank you for your Christmas cake recipe. I make multiple cakes every Christmas and it is always loved by whoever tries it, I even made it for our wedding cake and came home from honeymoon to find a stack of requests for the recipe.

Do you have any good slow cooker recipes? I was given one for Christmas but am really struggling to find something the whole family likes to cook in it.

All casserole recipes can be slow cooked. In the winter collection, we did something called Top 10 Casseroles, and all of them can be made in a slow cooker, and I would say that most things benefit from very slow cooking.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:26:17

rockinhippy

Hi Delia smile

Can you give any tips & maybe a fail safe recipe for a good light & fluffy wholemeal seeded loaf, even better if it can be cooked, or at least risen in a crocpot.

I manage fine when baking white, whether I use strong white or basic flour for artisan breads, but every time I try to make a healthier loaf, be it following a recipe or trying my own, which I'm normally okay with in other areas - it comes out a cross between biscotti & a soggy heavy fruit loaf

The one I made yesterday for example looked like it was all going fine, rose beautifully in my crocpot, neaded well & wasn't sticky when i finished, it went in the oven & looked like I was going to have a huge fluffy artisan seeded loaf - but it soread sideways, not upwards & actually seemed to lose hieght sad it tasted great but ended up about an inch deep & you need a hacksaw to cut itconfused - also what am I doing wrong with seedy toppings - mine all fell offshock

Thank you smile

Hello Rockinghippy:
First and foremost wholemeal bread is never going to be light and fluffy but I do have a good recipe called Quick Wholemeal Loaf it can be made with all wholemeal or half wholemeal and half granary. Brush the top with milk and press the seeds down, but some of them will always fall off.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:27:18

TheEdgesHat

Hi Delia,

Now that Jamie has done school dinners, and James Martin is doing hospital food where do you think will get the celebrity chef treatment next and would you consider doing something like this?

PS without fail, every year I make your christmas cake and mincemeat, and nothing is ever left!

First of all, I'm not a chef - I'm only a cook! But what I'm going to be doing in the online cookery school is teaching people to cook at home, so they can learn together as a family and hopefully replace the huge gap that's left since they cooking lessons out of schools.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:27:34

dietstartstmoz

Hello Delia.
I am a complete novice when it comes to baking. I am 40 and have only ever done ready-made cake mixes. My youngest child has a nut allergy so we have to be careful what we buy. I would love to start baking so i know what we are eating and have healthier options for my children. But where do i start? I will be buying your book, but what recipes should i consider starting with. I need something easy to follow that requires v little skill! Also what equipment should i start with? I dont own a cake tin and am a bit clueless about the basics. Do you have any fool-proof tips for a complete beginner? Thanks so much

You are what I most want in the world. Someone who doesn't know how to bake and wants to learn is precisely what the deliaonline cookery school is created for. Follow this week's recipe and I promise you're guaranteed success. We have alongside the cookery school first lesson a video technique which is all about cake tins and liners. Wishing you every success.

motherofallmuddles Thu 28-Feb-13 13:28:40

Hi Delia, great to see you again on Mumsnet
I learnt to cook with your complete cookery course and have never look back. EXCEPT for Meringue it's my cooking nemesis - is there a secret?
My mixtures and I've tried so many times are always runny and never peak so to speak. I use a magimix, should I be using a whisk ? help
Thank you thanks

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:29:56

cairnterrier

Hi Delia

I love baking and it's something that I enjoy doing with my children as well. Sadly my eldest son has an egg allergy (and fish but that's a less common ingredient in cakes). Would you consider doing something with recipes that avoid some of the most common allergens so that we can all cook with our children?

Thank you.

PS Go the canaries!

I'm very happy to tell you that there are 17 egg-free recipes in the new cakes book, and as I have a friend with a child who is egg-intolerant, I was particularly careful to include these. Not much chance of a special allergy book though, as I'm concentrating on the online cookery school.

I really hope the canaries do go - or rather stay! - in the Premiereship.

VenetiaLanyon Thu 28-Feb-13 13:30:45

Hi Delia,

Recently a lot of celebrity cooks' recipes were slated as not being as healthy as supermarket eadymeals - will your on-line school have a focus on healthy meals as well as tasty ones?

Thanks smile

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:32:19

motherofallmuddles

Hi Delia, great to see you again on Mumsnet
I learnt to cook with your complete cookery course and have never look back. EXCEPT for Meringue it's my cooking nemesis - is there a secret?
My mixtures and I've tried so many times are always runny and never peak so to speak. I use a magimix, should I be using a whisk ? help
Thank you thanks

I think you've answered your own question. It is so much better to use an electric hand-whisk, which beats in the air. Start with a large, roomy bowl and switch the motor on low at first. Then, when the egg begins to get foamy, turn up the motor to high, and keep going moving the whisk around, thinking all the time that what you need most is air.

When you get to the soft peaks stage, just add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, still whisking. Make sure that the bowl and the whisk are really clean and dry, because meringue mixtures don't like any traces of grease, anywhere. Next important thing is to follow my instructions on the cooking. I hope you really do have success now!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:33:55

ButteryJam

Hi Delia,

Can you recommend a cake recipe that is really easy to make and contains raspberry jam inside it in some capacity to the other? Thanks!

That's an easy one! How to make a perfect sponge cake is now on Delia Online today and forever. Once you've seen this, you'll find it easy and along with the raspberry jam, you could put some whipped cream. Otherwise, just the jam will be fine!

fallenempires Thu 28-Feb-13 13:34:23

Ah thanks Delia!
That's exactly what I was hoping to hear as I'd hate to leave out the half bottle of brandy blush
I will bear this in mind when icing your beast of 11'' fruitcake later smile

TractorKate Thu 28-Feb-13 13:34:59

Apologies that this isn't about baking but I'm quite good at baking but wonder if you can help me with something else. The one thing I can't seem to get right is rice. The water always seems to boil away before the rice is cooked, the rice turns out too sticky or burns at the bottom of the pan. I have tried following various recipes but never get it right.Any tips? Thanks for joining us on Mumsnet. Your making me very hungry smile

Can I ask Delia, do you find yourself cooking the same meals a lit. Loads if us here have to ask each other whats for dinner to get new inspiration as we all tend to cook the same fail dafe staples like spag bol etc.

What are your failsafe fallback dinners?

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:35:20

Valpollicella

Hi Delia

How did you feel about the negativity about your Cheat series?

I grew up watching you and now DS enjoys watching your shows on various food channels. In his words 'she's better than Jamie. She looks like she is being more careful and cooking carefully and nicely' hmm grin

I had the negativity but was consoled knowing that the book would eventually reach those it was written for i.e. people who sometimes need something quickly. Tell DS I love him.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:36:20

VenetiaLanyon

Hi Delia,

I love all your books, and come back to them year after year.
Do you have any tips to stop fairy cakes coming out of the oven all pointy and mountainous? They don't look so good when you have to cut the tops off.

And how do I ice them neatly; my icing slides all over the place and down the sides of the paper case....

Thanks for any pointers! smile

If you the follow the recipe for our orange butterfly cakes, I'm absolutely sure they won't go pointy!

As for icing, please have a look at one of our video techniques at Delia Online on cake icing, where we show you how to test if it's thick enough by spreading some on the edge of the bowl.

Apologies for my typos delia, im on my phone with a one year old feeding me pretend pizza.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:37:17

senua

I haven't got a question really. Just a huge thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for the Christmas cake / pud / mincemeat recipes thanks. They get trundled out every year and never fail to please: no need to 'upate' or 'ring the changes' because they are perfection. And the coffee and walnut cake mentioned in the intro is to die for!

Oh, I have a sort-of question. Can I second Jux's query: is there a formula for working out different timings when scaling up/down a cake?

Hello Senua and Jux:
Thank you for your very kind comments. The way to tackle scaling up or down is to allow less time obviously for a smaller mixture and more for a larger mixture, but you do need to keep an eye on things because its impossible to be exact. Because people who write recipes like me try to be very precise
my advice is make a cake and freeze half if you want less, and make two if you need more and freeze what's leftover. We have discovered while preparing the new book how brilliantly cakes and biscuits freeze.

strangerwithmyface Thu 28-Feb-13 13:37:43

What I really want to know is what's the secret to making good scones? Do you need a mixer or would it be better to do by hand? Mine are always rubbish.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:38:08

MardyBraWouldDoEddieRedmayne

Hello Delia. My husband keeps moving your books out of prime position on my shelves and keeps replacing them with Nigella's because she is a simpering wench and he fancies her. Should I LTB?

Quite honestly, whoever you are, I don't think there's a lot I can do about it! grin

blue2 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:38:11

I don't have a question for you, Delia, but it's great to see you on MN!

I was given a copy of your Complete Cookery Course for my 21st Birthday by my Great Aunt 25 years ago. Its recipes have featured in so many points in my life.

I have only just started to cook your pork and green olive casserole again - I made gallons of it just before I went into hospital to have DS (now 15) and we ate it weekly for about the first 6 months of my sons life!

Its darned good.

Pancakes and your all in one white sauce I regularly use.

Good luck with all your future plans.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:38:48

zipzap

Hi Delia

Another one here who loves your books.

I love things like beef bourguignon, beef in beer/ale, coq au vin, anything with a good slug or three of booze in really, etc and was just wondering if you knew at what age you can let kids eat them in relation to the alcohol content? I've got out the habit of cooking them as I have young dc and realised the other day that I need to start making them again as I miss them, I'm just hoping the dc are old enough to eat them.

I kind of assume that the alcohol is cooked out in the process of cooking them (I have slow cooker so tend to do them in that but also sometimes do them in the oven or on the hob) but it would be nice to know for sure!

My dc are 7 and 4 if that makes any difference!

wine Cheers Many thanks

Hello Zipzap:
I think your 4 and 7 year olds deserve to have all those lovely things and will be better off having been brought up on them. You are right in assuming the alcohol does get cooked out. So I hope they enjoy them.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:41:07

TheDoctorsWife46

Can I ask Delia, do you find yourself cooking the same meals a lit. Loads if us here have to ask each other whats for dinner to get new inspiration as we all tend to cook the same fail dafe staples like spag bol etc.

What are your failsafe fallback dinners?

I'm afraid we're all the same! We do get into a kind of cooking rut, and yes, we have spaghetti bolognaise quite a lot. One of our favourites is lamb chops when they're in season.

I keep making resolutions to start doing different things but there doesn't seem time to think too much about it. But I think that's what we've all got to do - we've got to sit down, with a cookery book, make a plan, and just do something different. I'm thinking of maybe posting up online so you know what I'm cooking each week - and that might make me try harder!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:42:17

strangerwithmyface

What I really want to know is what's the secret to making good scones? Do you need a mixer or would it be better to do by hand? Mine are always rubbish.

Three cheers for your question! I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed showing how to make scones for the online cookery school and this will be posted up as our third lesson. I absolutely make you a promise that once you've watched it, you really will never have a problem!

GirlOutNumbered Thu 28-Feb-13 13:42:31

Hi delis,
Just looked at your first lesson, it's brilliant! Now I realise where I go wrong, I never have the correct tin and you have also shown me reusable liners! I'm off to buy some right now.

What a brilliant website, I NAND wait to start having a good look around.

My question is this, I can't have dairy. Would most of your recipes be suited to something like stork or vitalite?

Yes i'd love you to post online "what's for dinner at delia's."

Thank you for answering my question. grin

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:43:43

KatieMiddleton

Hi Delia,

Forget the food, what i really want to know is how you manage to look about 30 years younger than you actually are?

But if we must talk food, which cook books do you own besides yours?

Thank you kindly

Hello Kate
I only look like that on the tv and its called the make up artist!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:44:25

DadOnIce

Hello Delia - what recipe do you think people are most put off doing because they think it is too complex, when it is actually quite straightforward?

I think making a soufflé. If anyone wants a good, easy one to start with, the leek and potato soufflé recipe is in the Happy Christmas book, and online.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:45:32

GirlOutNumbered

Hi delis,
Just looked at your first lesson, it's brilliant! Now I realise where I go wrong, I never have the correct tin and you have also shown me reusable liners! I'm off to buy some right now.

What a brilliant website, I NAND wait to start having a good look around.

My question is this, I can't have dairy. Would most of your recipes be suited to something like stork or vitalite?

Stork, definitely. There is a video technique on fats for cakes on Delia Online in which stork is featured!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:45:46

GreatGooglyMoogly

Hi Delia,

I have a lot of trouble with my oven - it often browns things on one side of it (the right) faster than the other. Would you recommend yours or one you've used and liked? Thanks smile

Hello GreatgooglyMoogly:
I know whata you are going through its absolutely awful trying to cook in an oven that isn't right. I am happy to tell you which ones we use they are made by a firm called Siemens and I can really recommend you invest in a good oven. Because then you'll enjoy all your baking so much more.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:46:33

blue2

I don't have a question for you, Delia, but it's great to see you on MN!

I was given a copy of your Complete Cookery Course for my 21st Birthday by my Great Aunt 25 years ago. Its recipes have featured in so many points in my life.

I have only just started to cook your pork and green olive casserole again - I made gallons of it just before I went into hospital to have DS (now 15) and we ate it weekly for about the first 6 months of my sons life!

Its darned good.

Pancakes and your all in one white sauce I regularly use.

Good luck with all your future plans.

Thank you so much, messages like yours always give me so much encouragement, and I'm truly grateful!

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:48:08

TaggieCampbellBlack

Hello Delia.

I love cake. It contains all the most important food groups; carbs, fat, sugar.......

What is your favourite cake?

Also - I have to do lunch and cake for 50 people. Any suggestions?

thanks

Hello TaggieCampbellBlack:
My favourite cake changes each month since we have been doing the book.
I think this month its probably the Double Lemon Drizzle Poppy Seed cake.
All the cakes are easy so serving 50 shouldn't be too difficult. You would have to bake 7 cakes with a bit over. My other passion which never goes away is for
Muffins. I can't seem to stop eating them whenever we make them. So how about you make 50 of the recipe for Spiced Apple Muffins.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:48:28

TractorKate

Apologies that this isn't about baking but I'm quite good at baking but wonder if you can help me with something else. The one thing I can't seem to get right is rice. The water always seems to boil away before the rice is cooked, the rice turns out too sticky or burns at the bottom of the pan. I have tried following various recipes but never get it right.Any tips? Thanks for joining us on Mumsnet. Your making me very hungry smile

Just go to Delia Online and look up 'Perfect Rice'. I have had thousands of people tell me how well it works for them. However, sounds like you might have been having the heat up too high. It needs the gentlest of simmers. Please try my method.

KatieMiddleton Thu 28-Feb-13 13:50:16

<adds make up artist to shopping list>

Thanks Delia smile

strangerwithmyface Thu 28-Feb-13 13:50:48

Thank you Delia! I definitely will.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:50:50

VenetiaLanyon

Hi Delia,

Recently a lot of celebrity cooks' recipes were slated as not being as healthy as supermarket eadymeals - will your on-line school have a focus on healthy meals as well as tasty ones?

Thanks smile

The trouble with writing recipes and presenting them on TV is that whereas something can look unhealthy, you're not asking people to eat it every day, and my own philosophy (which I'm quite emphatic about) is that there's no such thing as 'unhealthy food'. What there is, however, is unhealthy excess. So, if you want to roast a chicken smothered in butter, it's okay as long as you're having a balanced diet in every other area, and I think cookery presenters should not get blamed - the responsibility is on each of us ourselves to create a balanced diet.

The way I handle this is to only have cakes, sweets or desserts at weekends, and I never, ever eat factory-made snacks, and chocolate bars!

CMOTDibbler Thu 28-Feb-13 13:51:10

Hi Delia, I've cooked from your books all my life, and are still my 'go to' books.

In your career, what media reports have made you laugh most? I enjoyed the storm over your runny eggs !

And its brilliant you tested all your new cake recipes for gf - is this noted in the book?

Calypso2 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:51:39

Hi Delia. My children have just started cooking and I want to make sure they are equipped with basic skills before they leave home. My thoughts are: Pastry, roux sauce, pasta sauce, basic cakes, omelettes (and other egg dishes) and roast dinner. Is there anything else you think I should teach them? They are 14, 13 and 10.

LaVitaBellissima Thu 28-Feb-13 13:51:49

Hi Delia, love your books and I just wanted to say you looked Fab on Graham Norton a few weeks ago!

Do you like shopping and dressing up? Where do you shop on the high st?

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:52:06

MrsLyman

Hello, am I too late for a question? I'm currently trying to expand my range of family dinners. What is your favourite quick, easy but delicious dinner?

One quick recipe we always like from the How To Cheat book is the Thai chicken. It really is so fast, and so easy, and then we always serve it with the Thai fragrant rice.

motherofallmuddles Thu 28-Feb-13 13:53:22

Ah ha - will practise at the weekend- thank you. May well have to send you a photo if successful !
[smile ]

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 28-Feb-13 13:53:49

Delia, you were kind enough to sign one of your books for my mum last time you visited MNHQ. She was having a very tough time and your book helped to cheer her up that Christmas, so thank you very much.

She's a lifelong devotee and I think you'd be on the same page about celebrity chefs wink. I'll make sure to show her Delia Online. She'll be v interested.

And on a personal note, your ginger cake with lemon icing recipe is brilliant! It never fails.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:53:57

MonkeyGoneToHeaven

Hi Delia. I'd like to ask if you think that the obesity crisis can be tackled (partly) by children spending more time in proper cooking lessons in school. Perhaps the government needs an adviser...would you be up for it?!

Hello Monkeygonetoheaven:
Yes, I really do think the obseity crisis can be tackled and I cannot get it into my head why nobody on all the media programmes and newspaper articles has never yet understood that if you don't teach young people to cook they'll never know and they'll eat too much junk food. Please will all the mum's net members look at the online cookery school with their children. I am now utterly determined to teach anyone who wants to cook how, whatever age. And once again I will be grateful for any feedback.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:55:04

LaVitaBellissima

Hi Delia, love your books and I just wanted to say you looked Fab on Graham Norton a few weeks ago!

Do you like shopping and dressing up? Where do you shop on the high st?

Well, this really is going to be confession time! I absolutely hate shopping, and I'm useless, but I've been lucky enough to have someone to help me when I do television appearances, so if I looked good, it was all down to her and the makeup artist! One of the best places to go to look at clothes, if you've got the time in London, is Marylebone Highstreet.

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:56:56

Calypso2

Hi Delia. My children have just started cooking and I want to make sure they are equipped with basic skills before they leave home. My thoughts are: Pastry, roux sauce, pasta sauce, basic cakes, omelettes (and other egg dishes) and roast dinner. Is there anything else you think I should teach them? They are 14, 13 and 10.

I think that all sounds pretty good, and I hope you will visit the Delia Online cookery school, and watch it with your family, and let me know how they get on!

KatieMiddleton Thu 28-Feb-13 13:58:44

Delia we're going to need the receipt for the stylist please wink

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 13:59:38

CMOTDibbler

Hi Delia, I've cooked from your books all my life, and are still my 'go to' books.

In your career, what media reports have made you laugh most? I enjoyed the storm over your runny eggs !

And its brilliant you tested all your new cake recipes for gf - is this noted in the book?

A lot of the reports are annoying, not factually correct, and untrue! A journalist approached me the other day to ask for a comment on something and Mel, who works with me, recognised him, so we were able to ask him face to face, why he was photographed throwing my seafood risotto into the dustbin! And it was just a wonderful moment!

And yes, the gluten-free explanations are very clear in the book.

Can I sneak in with a quick one ?

What's your favourite (easy !) vegetarian recipe ?

Many thanks !

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 14:01:37

Thank you all at Mumsnet, I've really enjoyed all the questions and all the lovely kind comments I've received.

Lots of love, Delia

Jux Thu 28-Feb-13 14:02:46

Thank you Delia!

I remember mum making your Chicken with 30 cloves of garlic. It was delish! (She was a really good cook - French background - just not good with cakes!). Am looking at your cookery school now....

DeliaSmith Thu 28-Feb-13 14:03:55

And finally, I know you've all been waiting for it, here are the winners of the Food Feb cake decorating competition!

Stealthsquiggle for her asparagus cake

Blatherskite for her teddy-bear's picnic

And bebejones for her grandma cake

Each of you will get a signed copy of the new Delia's Cakes book

Thank you Delia. I'm looking forward to catching up with the thread.

Me too, I've only just spotted it but will go and have a catch up ....

gazzalw Thu 28-Feb-13 14:06:50

Thank you - better get the recipe books out! Love the sound of Marmalade Cake!

stealthsquiggle Thu 28-Feb-13 14:07:02

<<contemplates oscar-winners speech>>

I'd like to thank......


Maybe not grin

I am unbelievably excited to have won, though.

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 14:07:14

Thank you very much grin

I'm really looking forward to trying out some more of Delia's recipes.

wem Thu 28-Feb-13 14:10:43

Congratulations stealthsquiggle, your asparagus cake was incredible. I'm off to have a look at the others now smile

Wow!!! Two of my favourite part planners won!!

Well done stealth and blathers! (And bebe too! ) i know how much angst goes into the cakes. Xxx

iYawn Thu 28-Feb-13 14:10:53

Ooooooh thanks for answering my question Delia!
<off to buy the book>

bebejones Thu 28-Feb-13 16:13:27

Thank you so much!

Have been out for ages so I'm just about to read through the web chat! Can't wait to try out so e new recipes! grin

*party

CuriousMama Thu 28-Feb-13 17:47:58

Excellent webchat. I didn't ask a question even though dp is Delia's biggest fan. We have so many of her books and use them almost daily. Dp will read this through though and enjoy it as much as me smile

Well done all the winners of the cake decorating competition thanks thanks thanks

CuriousMama Thu 28-Feb-13 17:48:50

I'm glad you cleared that up TDW46, had me wondering grin

Jux Thu 28-Feb-13 18:17:32

Well done you 3! I think I saw the same asparagus cake as you did, stealth. Unlike you, it never occurred to me to try to do it! grin So glad you did though, it's stunning. Mind you, I am useless at that sort of thing anyway, and decorate my Xmas cake with meringue so I can avoid it even then!

JulesJules Thu 28-Feb-13 18:19:49

Delia is so lovely

MrsLyman Thu 28-Feb-13 21:07:07

Wow Delia answered my question, and with a recipe that i think we're going to love, thank you! I'm feeling rather starstruck.

SpeckledBird Thu 28-Feb-13 21:10:06

She is so lovely that I think all of you who love her should start supporting Norwich City. OTBC!

You will be in very good company

rockinhippy Thu 28-Feb-13 22:02:40

Thank you Delia smile - I've looked up & found that recipe & got quite excited as it reminded me of something from my childhood I'd forgotten all about - my great aunt was a baker, cooked on an amazing huge old black cast iron range & she always kept bread flour in a big metal barrel by the fire to keep it warm & she was famous locally for her baking, so it reminded me if her - really looking forward to giving it ago & moving on from bread to build houses with smile

rockinhippy Thu 28-Feb-13 22:04:20

Congratulations to the cake winners too - I knew the asparagus would win, well deserved, I've never seen another like it in my life, well done xx

Valpollicella Thu 28-Feb-13 23:05:00

Am so shock about having had my q answered by Delia and DS is even more agog grin

Fab chat!

cairnterrier Fri 01-Mar-13 14:52:55

Just wanted to say thank you so much to Delia for answering my question about egg allergy and for including egg free recipes in her book. 17 new things to try, yum!

Jux Sat 02-Mar-13 13:25:43

Delia, I am doing the chicken with 30 cloves of garlic on Sunday. As dh is a bit confused at the idea, we shall have roast spuds and cabbage with it because they are his speciality and will mollify him until he's tasted the chicken!

Excellent online site. Thank you!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now