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Showing 1-10 of 165 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on 22 January 2004
...I've always liked the way Nigella Lawson writes....her books make you want to read them, not just abandon to a dusty life on the kitchen shelf...She has a lovely way of making the recipes seem effortless, and most of them are as simple as they sound...I love the variety of recipes in this book, the little anecdotes that go with them, and the constant encouragement to experiment at home...the reader is made to feel that the recipes are not 'cast in iron', that it is possible to tweak and change them at our will...
The other thing I like about this book, is that Nigella is not selfish about her sources for recipes...if she finds a good recipe somewhere else, she gives the name of the Nigella, I do a lot of 'middle of the night' browsing on the internet, especially in Amazon...and most of the books she mentions, or includes in the bibliography, I've been able to track down to purchase for myself...
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and my teenage son is testimony to the success of the recipes that I've tried. My favourites? the Chocolate brownie recipe, the Christmas-Morning Muffins, which take 25 mins from start to finish, (I've even been known to make these on a school-day morning, and I'M a teacher!)The easy danish pastry recipes, the calvados syllabub....I'd list more, but I really think you need to get your own copy!!
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on 29 December 2001
Nigella Lawson makes cooking a pleasure. This book has a healthy balance between cooking for the family and cooking for guests that you want to impress. There was not a single recipe that I didn't want to try and by the time I had read the book I felt I knew Nigella and her family as old friends. Nigella encourages you to alter her recipes and feel confident doing so. I have never before bought a cookbook by a famous chef because I felt the recipes were too fancy or the ingredients were too difficult to buy, the majority of the ingredients in Nigella's recipe's can be found in most kitchen's or in the local shop. I cannot praise this book highly enough.
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on 9 May 2007
I had heard of the chef Nigella Lawson, the domestic goddess, but I was yet to read one of her books or try her recipes. I bought this last year as a gift for myself, and I must admit that the first thing to attract me to the book was the cover! Very pretty and feminine. But once I got home and curled up with the book and a cup of tea, I realised just why Nigella is known as the domestic goddess; the recipes are out of this world! I looked through the entire book and found lots of recipes that I was itching to make, and the illustrations are gorgeous, a visually stunning baking guide. The book has something for everyone, even if you do not have a sweet tooth, it also contains savoury recipes. The cheese and onion pasties went down a treat, and the pizza rustica was just delicious and unusual too. My favourite recipe was the sour cream chocolate cake, it sounds strange adding soured cream to a cake, but the result was a moist cake, not temple achingly sweet yet still gooey and chocolatey. And the cheesecakes were perfect, much better than the shop bought artificial creations we are accustomed to. Overall I would say that this is the best baking book I have ever read, and I have read a lot of Delia and Mary Berry too. Nigella deserves her domestic goddess name tag and this book is not only a joy to look at but is packed full of some of the best recipes you would ever see.
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2004
No, I am not refering to Ms Lawson. I recently bought this book and have already tried over 10 recipes - each one a complete success and by that I mean absolutely no left-overs.
If you are looking for something to impress without having to spend many slavish hours in the kitchen, this book will give you enough ideas to keep you busy for many weeks to come.
The recipes are easy and I mean dead-simple! No fuss, no fiddling about with kitchen gadgets, no watching over the stove - nothing. Each recipe is stripped down to the basics and presented in a simple, idiot-friendly manner and yet the results are worthy of a nod from a gourmet chef!
I love the Sweet and Salty Peanut Biscuits, so different from the peanutbutter type biscuits we know. The Brownies are spectacular given that they are so easy to make, but wait...the Molten Chocolate Babycakes will leave you quite lost for words!
There is also a chapter on breads all all things yeasty. Here Ms Lawson pleads us to use old potato water as the liquid. Huh?! Well, yes, that's what she says! Who am I to dispute a guru. So, improbable as it sounds, I tried it. And .... well, frankly I don't quite see the big difference. I have turned to making my own bread for a few months now but it always finishes in two days. I have yet to test the theory that bread lasts longer with old potato water.
I also love the chapter on pies. Loads of easy stuff here to make and bake and I must confess that I am guilty of using family picnics as an excuse to make the Pizza Rustica and Cornish Pasties.
And finally, do not over look the chapter on puddings. For something unusual, try the Red Gooseberry Clafoutis and Om Ali. They are different and guaranteed to get you some 'ooohs' and 'aaahs'.
In general, I have enjoyed the reading the recipes in this book as much and making them - but not as much as eating them!!!
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on 3 August 2007
I've had this book ever since it came out, but the only reason I'm writing this review now is because I feel the need to defend Nigella's recipes. Any person who says her recipes are 'guesstimates' either doesn't own this book or hasn't ever cooked from it.Of the 100+ cookbooks I own, this is the one I've used the most and have yet to come across a recipe that has failed. If you love to bake then you must have this book and if you love to cook, then it is imperative that you own all her books.
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on 4 December 2006
I bought the hardback version in 2001 and can't imagine life without it. Although I have long been a baker and kitchen-potterer with an armful of books on the same, this is the book I always reach for.

Yes, there are some recipes which don't work for me and even one which clearly had an error in it, but that doesn't detract from the lush gorgeousness of the recipes, the writing and the magic feeling it inspires.

I have made so many of the recipes - the banana loaf and the cherry loaf frequently come out of my kitchen, as do the Chocolate Cherry cupcakes, and the fairy cakes. I refer to it for any kind of baking, jam making, chutney, children's sweet treats and tray bakes. It's my first port of call if I want something glamorous, sweet or comforting.

I love Nigella's bossy tone, her giving of history along with method, her explanations and her use of language. To say she has plagiarised others' work is simply spiteful: she gives all credit where it is due and admits her inability to leave alone, so all recipes have had her tinkering, even where clearly described in originating from another author.

If you love the fond idea of 'kitchen putskying' as Nigella calls it, more than the actual doing then this book is also for you. All Nigella's books need to be sat down with over a glass of wine or cup of tea. It's impossible not to be sucked into reading on and on.

In my mind this book is what you would hope a warm bossy mum or grandma would write for you. And as Nigella says in the intro; it's not about Being a Domestic Goddess, but about Feeling like one. It's about The Great Cake Scam (which she describes as how simple it is to throw together a simple sponge or a tray of fairy cakes and yet how everyone is so impressed).

Even with a few errors and misplaced enthusiasms, to me this book is just Perfect!
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on 1 April 2004
This book has to be my absolute favourite cookery book. Its the sort of book that, on a wet and miserable day inspires you to dash out into the kitchen whip up something delicious. The pictures are appealing and of the sort of real results that any of us can expect in our kitchens, not the airbrused perfect pictures that a lot of cookery books use. The recipes and methods are for real women - women with jobs and lives to juggle who want to cook for the sheer pleasure of it.
When I'm down in the dumps I have a flick through this book and it never fails to cheer me up. When I'm cooking from it I feel as though I should be wearing pink fluffy high-heeled mules!!
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on 4 January 2006
This book is everything is claims to be - I love Nigella Lawson's recipes. But be careful there are several versions of this book - the US copy has all measurements in American cups. Its very annoying. I was given the US version for Christmas and then couldn't get it exchanged (it was out of the 30 days exchange policy - a good reason for last minute Christmas shopping!!) So check with Amazon that you get the English copy otherwise your muffins might be in danger - I think the Hyperion version is the US one, but I'm not sure....
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on 26 January 2007
I have had this book for about five years now - given to me by my cake loving husband. "Pah!" thought I, "I am already a domestic goddess!". However, to give Nigella her due, she is famous for a reason and she really does know baking. Even if you find her nauseatingly camp and simpering on television, she was always a journalist and this book is well written with amusing and useful comments throughout.

It's a great all round bible of cakes and biscuits with things to bake for all occasions, with children, for children, dinner parties, Christmas and a special chapter dedicated to chocolate - yum!. Nigella is a self confessed bodger and although this is not a desirable quality in a baker, the recipes give the impression that most people would be able to cobble up something resembling the illustration.

The accompanying photographs are just beautiful. Simple, stylish and mouthwatering. There are also some unusual recipes in there that even an accomplished baker like myself would find exciting and refreshing. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to whip a little something up in the kitchen to delight their family and friends. I have used my copy so often that the cover has fallen off.
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on 11 April 2007
This is the one book that I keep going back to for Birthday Cakes (or cupcakes), something to bring to the office, or something to do on a weekend. The cakes have always been well received and there have been requests for the Madeira cake, the lemon syrup lemon loaf cake (which is a BIG BIG hit), the butterscotch layer cake and key lime pie.

I must admit that we are still tinkering with the jam recipes, the setting point is a little difficult to figure out but the jam tastes good though. and the baking time for some cakes can be off by 15-20mins give or take, depending on type of oven (gas, electric, fan) you are using.

with that said, the cakes i have baked have come out yummy the first time and everytime since. A good buy.
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