Archive for Nigella

Cinnamon Scrolls

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 8, 2010 by thepseudoepicurean

There is nothing like the smell of fresh bread wafting through the house. I LOVE bread. And the husband makes some really good (artisan, in my biased opinion) bread. Unfortunately I do not possess his deft hands when it comes to kneading and flipping and shaping the dough, so I’ve never quite ventured into the breadmaking domain.

I was craving for cinnamon rolls this afternoon and decided to try my hand at making some. Armed with Nigella’s “How To Become A Domestic Goddess” and Rosso my trusty KitchenAid, I got right into the thick of things!

Buttered, sugared and ready to roll

All scrolled up!

Golden Cinnamon Scrolls

The end result was gold.

The bread

Not bad for a first attempt, hey?

Advertisements

I Feel Like Chicken Tonight

Posted in Recipes with tags , on November 16, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean

Made a roast buttermilk chicken tonight for dinner and it was absolutely divine. I’d thrown everything into a container, buttermilk, chicken, seasoning and spices and all the night before, left it to marinate overnight and stuck it into the oven for just 30 minutes when we got home from work.

The result was beautiful crisp and moist chicken drumsticks for our grumbling tums. Awesome!

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Posted in Baking, Chocolate with tags , , on March 23, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean
Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Curiosity got the better of the cat and I ended up making the chocolate Guinness cake. It turned out very well, although the taste of Guinness wasn’t as prominent as I’d have liked it to be. Nevertheless it made for a great chocolate cake – moist, dense, and sinfully fudgey.

I especially loved the cream cheese icing that was smothered over the cake. The slight tangy-sweet cloud of cream cheese+icingsugar+cream, calorie-packed as it was, seemed to soften yet highlight the intensity of chocolate in the cake (and trust me, it was VERY chocolatey).

It was at its best straight out of the oven, but I’ve had it in the fridge for the last 2 days and it is still delectably moist and fudgey even when cold.

Would I make it again? Yes I would, but only if I weren’t serving it to a group of girls on a diet. Does Nigella ever make anything healthy?

Which Chocolate Takes The Cake?

Posted in Baking, Chocolate with tags , , on March 20, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean

We’re celebrating JC’s birthday tomorrow, and I have volunteered my cake-baking expertise (or lack of) to make her a birthday cake. This is a perfect excuse to try out the treasure of chocolate cake recipes in Nigella’s Feast, but this unfortunately leaves me with another problem: which recipe should I try?

There’s the chocolate espresso cake that I made the last time (that was highly successful and a show-stealer, and is almost fail-proof), and then there’s the chocolate Guinness cake, the honey chocolate cake, etc.

I love the chocolate espresso cake for its moistness. Flavour wise, it was intense almost to the point of being dense, yet it was light and airy too (lots of eggs and only a few tablespoonfuls of flour – you do the math); at the same time the Guinness cake sounds intriguing enough to attempt, and I have read many a rave review about the cake.

So I will head home tonight and contemplate which cake my dearest JC would be getting for her birthday. That leaves me with one last consideration: how kosher is it to serve a Guinness cake at your Bible study meeting?

Food Is The Best Medicine

Posted in Cooking, Life with tags , , on March 3, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean
Nigella's Chocolate Espresso Cake

Nigella's Chocolate Espresso Cake

For today, I am The Sick Epicurean, quite literally. After declaring on Sunday that I had been bug-free for 2 months (to which the Jman had warned me not to jinx myself), I finally succumbed to the nasty weather fluctuations and actually fell ill. Who’d have thunk?

I spent the whole day in bed nursing a sore throat, fever and a headache until I was sick of being in bed. So instead of moping around and feeling miserable, I decided to get my blood pumping by driving myself down to the supermarket and take a walk around in the comforts of the air-conditioned aisles.

By the time I got home, I was feeling a little psyched up to cook. Supermarketing has that effect on me. So without thinking twice, I pulled out a cake mixer, pots, pans and went full on head-down-bum-up into cooking. I made a crema di funghi (cream of mushroom soup) and a spaghetti al funghi for dinner, and a Nigella chocolate-espresso cake for dessert.

I’ll post up the recipes later but for now, all I can say is that all the kitchen activity made me feel heaps better. The fever’s broken and the headache has magically disappeared. Talk about food for the soul!

How To Be A Domestic Birthday Baby

Posted in Cooking, Life, Recipes with tags , , , , on September 1, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean

It’s not entirely by choice, really, that I received 3 cookbooks (2 of which were Nigella’s, chosen by me – 1 from the Jman and another from my mother – and the other a Bill Granger one) for my birthday this year, as well as a lovely stark white pestle and mortar from Maxwell & Williams.

I’m not complaning though. I’ve been going through a cookbook frenzy at the moment, poring over every recipe when deciding what to cook for dinner. Thanks to Sarah, I was introduced to a whole new world of Nigella and have been fascinated by her recipe books ever since I picked up a copy to browse at Borders some months before. Can’t say I love her videos though – it’s a little too sultry for a cooking show.

So far, I’d made orange breakfast muffins and granola. I’m a little crazy about granola/muesli at the moment. I suspect it’s got something to do with the weather lightening up these days. Imagine waking up to glorious sunshine on a weekend – it makes me want to do away with warm breakfasts and start the day with something refreshing, and nothing beats cold milk on crunchy granola and fresh strawberries instead.

I made the granola last night, in part an attempt to finish off the oats that have been sitting in my cupboard untouched the last 5 months. Just like how you make lemonade when life throws you lemons, you make granola when you’ve got an oversupply of oats awaiting their expiry date. Nigella’s “Andy’s Fairfield Granola” recipe was perfect. I bought some almonds and sunflower seeds, then made do with whatever ingredients I had in the pantry. I didn’t have brown sugar so I substituted it with raw caster sugar; I didn’t have rice malt syrup so I used maple instead. I also cut down the sugar and omitted the oil in a bid to shed some unwanted pounds. After all, they say it goes downhill once you’ve crossed your mid-twenties mark, and that’s exactly where I’ll be after today.

It’s been a lovely birthday week so far. I’ve got my cookbooks for company, and a tonne of recipes to keep myself busy for the next year! It’s a pretty good start I must say. As for now, let’s bring on the par-tay!

Pancakes Play-Along

Posted in Cooking with tags , on May 6, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean

Pancake premixes are awesome, and by the term “premix” I don’t mean the kind that you see on the supermarket shelves. First of all, they’re a rip-off (last I checked, Coles sold them for $3 about 1-cup measure of premix); secondly, this premix is dead easy to put together; thirdly, if you look closely at the label of commercially-sold premixes, you’ll find that the ingredients are pretty dubious, not to mention unnecessary.

So over the weekend I surfed up pancake premixes and stumbled upon Nigella’s recipe on the net and realised that perhaps my pancake-craving days can finally come to an end. The ingredients are common to everyone’s pantry so there’s really no reason why anyone would want to spend their dosh on the plastic stuff.

Which would you prefer?

Commercially-sold pancake premix

A bottle of Green’s Original Pancake Premix which contains:

Wheat flour, sugar, wheat starch, non fat milk solids, whole egg powder, maltodextrin, baking powder, mineral salt (341), thickener (1422), salt

To assemble: Add water, shake, pour, cook.

OR

Nigella’s Pancake Premix (makes about 3 cups of premix)

  • 300g plain flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 25g baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To assemble:
1 cup premix + 1 cup milk + 1 egg + 1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)

Mix everything very lightly to ensure that the big lumps are broken up but it doesn’t matter if you have a lumpy batter because the smaller lumps will break up during the cooking stage; if you overmix it you’ll end up getting rubbery cakes instead.

Fry on a skillet and VOILA!

1 cup of premix yields approximately 4-5 pancakes.

Anyway, I had pancakes for breakfast this morning, all ready in less than 5 minutes. I even did my makeup in between assembling, cooking and eating them, and was out the door in a flash. Whoosh!