Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Random Recipes - My Favourite Cookbook

The theme for this month's Random Recipes really gave me a headache. Have you seen my cookbook collection?! How on earth was I supposed to pick a favouite? But I had a good think about it. Which ones did I use the most? Which recipes did I keep going back to, and which ones always worked? More importantly, which ones did I find myself reading in bed?

And after much pondering, I've decided that my favourite cookbook is...


How To Be a Domestic Goddess, by the wonderful Nigella Lawson.

I've had this quite a few years now and so many recipes in it have become old favourites that I've memorised from making them so often. The American Pancake recipe is ridiculously good. The Easy Almond Cake on page 6 is amazing, and so easy that my husband managed to make it all by himself for my birthday cake this year. And Nigella's sweet pastry recipe is the one I've adopted as my own, choosing it over the likes of Michel Roux because it just works so well.

Once again I got carried away and made two different recipes for this challenge.

The unappetising stuff in this jar is pineapple chutney. Doesn't it look disgusting? Please don't judge by appearances. This stuff is fantastic. Put a great blob of it in a cheese sandwich (even better if it's toasted). It tastes of cinnamon and star anise and turmeric and all things nice. There is absolutely no better use for a mouldy pineapple, I promise.

And the obligatory sweet cakey thing. I don't know why I haven't made these before: Baby Bundts. Delicious little yoghurty lemony squidgey things that, despite my coffee fixation, really need to be eaten alongside a cup of tea.

I'm not sure if this book is as popular in the US as it is in the UK - can any readers across the pond enlighten me? Do you guys love Nigella over there as much as we do here?

Anyway here were the other contenders for my favourite cookbook, in no particular order:

Muffins Fast and Fantastic by Susan Reimer
Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (even though I only started actually cooking from it last month!)
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf
The River Cottage Bread Handbook by Dan Stevens
Good Food: 101 Cakes & Bakes
The Italian Cookery Course by Katie Caldesi
Complete Chinese Cookbook by Ken Hom
Ursula's Italian Cakes and Desserts by Ursula Ferrigno


  1. oh my god your photo's are amazing!... simply stunning!... i think nigella is winning hands down in this challenge this month, it's totally crazy... and I'm sorry for causing you stress over the choice but I think you've probably made the right one, those baby bundts are to die for!!! Thanks for taking part again xx

  2. What sweet little cakes and I love a good chutney! I just couldn't choose a favourite recipe book and as most are in England I'm going to give it a miss this month. Jude x

  3. Oooooooooh - we have so many of the same books!! Nigella would have to be pretty close to the top of my list of faves too, though picking would be heart breaking lol

  4. Great choice. I, too, love this book and it would certainly be my favourite baking book. I am intrigued by the cheese and pineapple toasties. Your mini bundts are so cute.

  5. Beautiful! This is the only Nigella book I don't have (yet!), despite multiple hints. Must remind self that I am emancipated woman, I can buy my own copy! Love your list of 'other' favourites - I have the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook but none of the others. I feel a trip to Amazon coming on...

  6. I absolutely love Nigella!!!! Not only are her recipes wonderful but she is wonderful!!!! Her program is aired here I just love it!! Oh..and I am from the northeast coast of the states!!

  7. Nigella is my hero! Seriously I love that woman lol :-) HTBADG is one of my all time favourite books and I agree the pineapple chutney is fabulous! I may not look pretty but boy does it make up for it in taste!

  8. Think you made the right choice there - it's a great all rounder and I've used mine a lot a lot. Will now be looking out for mouldy pineapples ;-)

  9. a really good book....i need to invest in it...i've read my mum's back to front about a million times. The chutney and cake look amazing!! I've made her pumpkin chutney and it was fantastic so I imagine this is amazing too!! :)


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