RECIPE TITLE "Chocolate Raspberry Heart" recipe excerpted from Feast: Food to Celebrate Life by Nigella Lawson
Copyright 2004 by Nigella Lawson
For the cake:
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons best unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 shallow 9-inch heart-shaped pans
for the filling:
1 cup fresh raspberries
½ cup heavy cream
for the icing:
¾ cup heavy cream
5 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 cup fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 9-inch heart-shaped cake pans. Pour the milk into a small pan, add the butter, and heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Or you can just put the milk and butter in a glass measuring cup and melt the butter in the microwave. When hot, add the vanilla. Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick, light colored, and frothy. I use the paddle attachment of the KitchenAid for this. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a bowl. Still beating the eggs and sugar, add the vanilla-flavored milk. When incorporated, slowly fold in the flour mixture, either using the paddle attachment on low speed or by hand with a spatula. You will need a final scrape-down and fold with a rubber spatula in any event. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove to wire racks and let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before turning the cakes out, and then turning them back up on the wire racks, out of the pans, the right way up. Leave the cakes to cool before icing; you can make them in advance, but they are sticky so you must wrap them in parchment paper before wrapping them in aluminum foil. To fill the heart, whip the cream until thick but not stiff. Add the raspberries and crush with a fork, but not too finely. The cream should turn wonderfully pink, in a rose-and-white mottled fashion. Sandwich the hearts with the raspberry cream. To ice, put the cream, chocolate cut into small pieces, and syrup in a pan over low to medium heat and when the chocolate seems to have all but melted into the warm cream, take off the heat and start whisking until you have a smooth, glossy mixture. Pour, and then spread — preferably with a palette knife — over the top of the cake to the edges of the heart (not worrying too much about drips). Take out your cup of raspberries and just about 1 inch, or maybe slightly less in from the edges of the heart, start studding the chocolate topping with the raspberries (hole sides down) or however, indeed, you like.
|Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast
The Domestic Goddess is back, and this time it's instant. Nigella and her style of cooking have earned a special place in our lives, symbolizing all that is best, most pleasurable, most hands-on, and least fussy about good food. But that doesn't mean she wants us to spend hours in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove.
Featuring fabulous fast foods, ingenious shortcuts, terrific time-saving ideas, effortless entertaining tips, and simple, scrumptious meals, Nigella Express is her solution to eating well when time is short. Here are mouthwatering meals, quick to prepare and easy to follow, that you can conjure up after a day in the office or on a busy weekend, for family or unexpected guests. This is food you can make as you hit the kitchen running, with vital advice on how to keep your pantry stocked, and your freezer and fridge stacked. When time is precious, you canít spend hours shopping, so you need to make life easier by being prepared. Not that these recipes are basic, though they are always simple, but it's important to make every ingredient earn its place, minimizing effort by maximizing taste.
Here too is great food that can be prepared quickly but cooked slowly in the oven, leaving you time to have a bath, a drink, talk to friends, or help the children with their homework, minimum stress for maximum enjoyment.
Nigella Express features a new generation of fast food, never basic, never dull, always doable, quick, and delicious.
Featuring recipes seen on Food Networkís Nigella Express series. Click here to buy
|Feast: Food to Celebrate Life
If you consider eating with friends and family a joyful, indulgent celebration chances are you love a good feast. And who better to carefully guide you through the daunting task of preparing that Feast than the domestic goddess herself Nigella Lawson. Written in the tradition of Nigella Bites and How to Eat, Feast is a cookbook for the sensualist that wants to eat very well, but also wants to spend time enjoying the company of their guests instead of struggling with the creation of the meal. What sets Lawson apart is not that she's a good cookbook writer, but a strong writer period. Similar to her other books, Nigella's Feast is presented as part personal memoir, part educational, and part recipe presentation. There is a nice blend of occasions including the obvious (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and Easter), a few culturally specific ones (Rosh Hashanah, Georgian Feast, and Venetian Feast), feasts for kids, for vegetarians, and an elegant cocktail party. Each chapter begins with an overview of that particular "Feast." Generally, there is a personal story and experience told, an overview of the cultural importance of the feast, and a description of foods that are associated with each occasion. Impressively, every recipe begins with a personal anecdote giving that impression Nigella didn't just throw it in the book, but is experienced with the recipe and has used it with success. Take her twist on the decadent Chocolate Guinness Cake for example: "I wanted to make a cream cheese frosting to echo the pale head that sits on top of a glass of stout. It's unconventional to add cream but it makes it frothier and lighter which I regard as aesthetically and gastronomically desirable." Who can argue? The cake is to die for. So next time you need to prepare a dinner party let the goddess be your guide, and remember: Keep the preparation simple, use easily available ingredients, and take time to enjoy your guests and your meal. Feast may not be the most advanced cookbook you will own, but if you want to create excellent food with relative ease in a short amount of time, you can not beat Nigella. --Rob Bracco Click here to buy
|How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food
"Cooking is not about just joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next," says British food writer Nigella Lawson. "It's about developing an understanding of food, a sense of assurance in the kitchen, about the simple desire to make yourself something to eat." Lawson is not a chef, but "an eater." She writes as if she's conversing with you while beating eggs or mincing garlic in your kitchen. She explains how to make the basics, such as roast chicken, soup stock, various sauces, cake, and ice cream. She teaches you to cook more esoteric dishes, such as grouse, white truffles (mushrooms, not chocolate), and "ham in Coca-Cola." She gives advice for entertaining over the holidays, quick cooking ("the real way to make life easier for yourself: cooking in advance"), cooking for yourself ("you don't have to belong to the drearily narcissistic learn-to-love-yourself school of thought to grasp that it might be a good thing to consider yourself worth cooking for"), and weekend lunches for six to eight people. Don't expect any concessions to health recommendations in the recipes here--Lawson makes liberal and unapologetic use of egg yolks, cream, and butter. There are plenty of recipes, but the best parts of How to Eat are the well-crafted tidbits of wisdom, such as the following:
* "Cook in advance and, if the worse comes to the worst, you can ditch it. No one but you will know that it tasted disgusting, or failed to set, or curdled or whatever."
* On the proper English trifle: "When I say proper I mean proper: lots of sponge, lots of jam, lots of custard and lots of cream. This is not a timid construction ... you don't want to end up with a trifle so upmarket it's inappropriately, posturingly elegant. A degree of vulgarity is requisite."
* "Too many people cook only when they're giving a dinner party. And it's very hard to go from zero to a hundred miles an hour. How can you learn to feel at ease around food, relaxed about cooking, if every time you go into the kitchen it's to cook at competition level?" --Joan Price Click here to buy
|Nigella Bites: From Family Meals to Elegant Dinners -- Easy, Delectable Recipes For Any Occasion
Nigella Bites--the title is taken from Nigella Lawson's Style Network cooking show of the same name--is the third book from British Vogue food editor and New York Times food columnist Nigella Lawson, a force of nature all her own. Her other books include How to Eat and How to Be a Domestic Goddess. Fans of the TV show will find all these easy-to-follow recipes familiar, and the book is even designed with pages for note taking at the end of each section.
Nigella Bites is divided into chapters that include "All-Day Breakfast," "Comfort Food," "TV Dinners," "Party Girl," "Rainy Days," "Trashy," "Legacy," "Suppertime," "Slow-Cooked Weekend," and "Templefood." "Templefood" refers to the "body as a temple," and Lawson shares what she calls "restorative" recipes, like the raw egg and brandy hangover cure called Prairie Oyster. Hot and Sour Soup and Gingery Hot Duck Salad are also present and accounted for.
It's all self-referential. Lawson (her chapter introductions are printed in 26-point type for the hard of seeing) holds nothing back about what she likes, how she overindulges, how she works her lifestyle into the kitchen and onto the table. It's encouragement by example, with a practical twist. You aren't going to spend hours in the kitchen midweek. That's a reward you save for the weekend. But there's plenty of deliciousness to be had midweek as well, and Lawson's there to help you along your way. --Schuyler Ingle Click here to buy
|Forever Summer (Style Network's) (Style Network's)
"Nigella is an icon." -- Gourmet
"Vivid and fresh." -- People
"Brings to life the sensual aspects of cooking, helping you understand the pleasure of the journey." -- New York Times
"Nigella Lawson has done more than anyone recently to revive the art of cooking for the sheer fun of it." -- Bon Appetit