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

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.

OP’s posts: |
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 delia!

TotallyEggFlipped Wed 27-Feb-13 12:23:28

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 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.

MonkeyGoneToHeaven Wed 27-Feb-13 14:55:41

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"?

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 27-Feb-13 21:28:47

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?


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

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