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What is your favourite Nigella recipe? And what's your worst?

(78 Posts)
TuttiFrutti Sat 08-Jan-11 17:28:50

I love her style of writing, but I find the recipes are very hit and miss. Some work brilliantly, but I've also had some spectacular failures. So I'd really like to save myself some time by finding out what has worked for other people, and what hasn't.

OK, I'll go first: I love the curry-in-a-hurry from Nigella Express, the quesadillas from the same book, and from Domestic Goddess the basic victoria sponge and fairy cakes are good, so is the banana bread and dense chocolate loaf cake. I have had failures with the flapjacks, snickerdoodles and macaroons from Domestic Goddess, and the cheese stars from How to Eat. I also find that baking times are often way too short, for cakes and meat dishes.

Anyone else?

pointydog Sat 08-Jan-11 17:34:20

Save yourself even more time and buy a cook book by a far more reliable cook. Or just by a cook. wink

BelligerentGhoul Sat 08-Jan-11 17:39:33

Cream cheese brownies and flapjack from Domestic Goddess were dreadful.

I love the Guinness Cake from Feast and Barbados Cream from How To Eat.

TuttiFrutti Sat 08-Jan-11 18:06:38

Good point, pointydog.grin

Belligerent, I've done the barbados cream too and agree it was fab. I liked the sound of the cream cheese brownies, but won't bother now. Thanks for the tip.

BelligerentGhoul Sat 08-Jan-11 18:07:22

The brownies sounded amazing but they just wouldn't cook. I ened up with a tin full of goo.

BelligerentGhoul Sat 08-Jan-11 18:07:43


loujay Sat 08-Jan-11 18:11:55

Loved the baked veg with halloumi or some such cheese
HATED the childrens chilli in "How to Cook"....flavoured with cloves instead of chilli
I cannot describe the horrible taste of cloves on the roof of my mouth that nothing would wash away

Ishtar2410 Sat 08-Jan-11 18:12:55

Tried the Cinnamon buns from 'Domestic Goddess' on Christmas Eve. Don't bother. I halved the amount of yeast because I didn't believe the quantity she specified and it was still too much. Result was an over-proved, collapsed mess of a dough which ended up in the bin. And I had to spend the better part of an hour cleaning out the bread machine.

In general, I find her recipes need a bit of tweaking - usually with cooking times.

Kbear Sat 08-Jan-11 18:16:00

Chocolate brownies and pretty much everything in Domestic Goddess all work fine. I made the cherry and almond loaf all the time, and the banana bread too.

I think lots of recipes can fail due to oven temperatures sometimes, or even egg sizes. My oven cooks much faster than a recipe states. I made a cake last might that said 1.5 hours to bake and it was ready in under an hour.

Slubberdegullion Sat 08-Jan-11 18:42:43

I like her christmas chocolate cupcake things, and the page with sour cream chocolate cake with sour cream icing is heavily stained.

Her girdle buster pie is up there in my top 10 of the most disgusting things I've ever put in my mouth.

Finbar Sat 08-Jan-11 18:45:22

Don't touch the Banana Muffins in Domestic Goddess!

Slubberdegullion Sat 08-Jan-11 18:46:55

yy Finbar. They are also extremely gopping.

TuttiFrutti Sun 09-Jan-11 12:01:48

Thanks for all your messages.

I had already heard on MN about the banana muffins, which I will be steering well clear of! Thanks Slubberdegullion for your warning of the girdle buster pie (what a disgusting name - think that might have put me off anyway!).

taffetacat Sun 09-Jan-11 15:03:20

Her mince pie pastry is wonderful

I don't rate any of her all in one processor cakes, they are super flat with no rise.

boogeek Sun 09-Jan-11 15:08:53

I tried the cinnamon buns with similar results to Ishtar. Love the banana bread, madeira cake, johnnycakes and american pancakes from domestic goddess; the cherry jam/chocolate muffins were appalling.
Never tried a thing from Feast because I rarely cater for 20...
I love her minestrone from how to eat, we make it often (though despite her being very forceful on the subject, I am afraid I do add a tin of tomatoes).

BelligerentGhoul Sun 09-Jan-11 15:11:01

The vegetarian chilli from 'Feast' is v good - not that you need a recipe for veggie chilli but if I want to follow a recipe, I use that one.

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 09-Jan-11 15:14:56

I've only got How To Eat. I don't bake.

But from How To Eat her meatballs (heavy on the milk-soaked and squeezed out bread) didn't go down at all well with the dc.

However, I just love her minestrone (although I use 3 tbsp olive oil to start off rather than her recommended 8!!!). But then I don't suppose you can go far wrong with a soup, can you?

wildstrawberryplace Sun 09-Jan-11 15:18:44

Curry in a hurry is a staple in our house.

We also like the ham in coke/cherry coke.

Have made the fresh raspberry bakewell tart from How to Eat loads of times to take for pudding when we visit friends etc - it's fab.

She puts too many eggs in things though - her creme brulee is a foul eggy nausea inducing mess.

I have made the cinnamon buns lots and they have always come out brilliantly (though I double the amount of cinnamon filling) so that's odd.

Norwegian Loaf from Godess was absolutely foul and inedible.

Those breakfast bars from Express made from cranberries and condensed milk etc are also pretty horrible.

The pear/marzipan fruit cake from Godess is my absolute favourite cake in the whole world.

justaboutmaintainingorder Sun 09-Jan-11 15:26:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lucyintheskywithdiazepam Sun 09-Jan-11 15:27:57

I've never had a Nigella failure....yet!

I can't recall everything I've made from her books over the years but the ones I make over and over again are:

Cherry and Almond loaf
Chilli from Feast (veggie and meat versions)
Meatballs (Express)
Chocolate and lime cheesecake (Express?) - I use this as the basis for lots of different flavoured cheesecakes recent After Eight creation is going down very well with friends and family.
Roasted veg with haloumi (Express)
Spaghetti carbonara (How to Eat)
Spinach & ricotta pasta shells (Forever Summer)

I got 'Kitchen' for christmas and have only made the South Indian veg curry so far but it was delish and I know it will become my staple curry when there's random veg lurking in fridge that needs used before it walks.

I always have to tweak cooking times and temperatures with any recipe, not just Nigella's.

oliviacrumble Sun 09-Jan-11 15:29:04

Agree with wildstrawberry, the fresh raspberry bakewell is excellent. i also love the lamb meatballs with rose harissa scented stew, from feast.

The pea soup from Nigella Express is pretty good, as is the coriander chutney from Nigella Bites.

The flourless brownies from Nigella Express were a disaster for me, though a friend has made them successfully (she claims...). The chocolate pistachio fudge from this book is fab, and makes a great gift.

I also love her pea guacamole/hummus whatever she calls it, from How to eat.

Pinner35 Sun 09-Jan-11 17:56:40

I love most of Nigella's recipes......hubby takes one of her Breakfast Bars (from Express) to work most days, although I do tweak the ingredients.

My worst recipe was the Clementine Cake, from How to was a bitter, inedible mess.

FortiesCromarty Sun 09-Jan-11 18:04:57

Oooh just made the clementine cake and loved it!

DaisySteiner Sun 09-Jan-11 18:11:19

Molten chocolate babycakes are yum.
Key Lime Pie (the easy, cheat one with condensed milk and cream) always goes down well.
Christmas morning muffins are a tradition in our house.
Her christmas cake recipe is nice.
Meatball recipe from Feast v. good - the fussiest child I have ever met even enjoyed that one.
I made her burnt butter cupcakes ONCE because they were so much hassle, but they were nice.
Onion rings a faff but nice as a treat.

Her pear and chocolate pudding from express was a big let down.
Don't think much of her brownies from goddess.
The big oniony-scone thing from goddess was horrid as was the plate trifle thing. I still have a bottle of rose water cluttering up the cupboard from my one attempt 10 years ago!

YunoYurbubson Sun 09-Jan-11 18:15:08

I make the Clementine cake often and it always goes down a storm.

I also make snicker doodles a lot. Everyone loves them.

I find she always wants you to make about 3 times too much icing for any sort of cake.

Funnily enough I made the banana muffins yesterday. They were okay. The cinnamon was gopping and I would leave that out next time, but other than that not bad. Perhaps I have low standards as ds is dairy free and it's nice to find a recipe that can be veganised with very little effort.

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