Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Monday, February 05, 2007

WCC No. 13 or Nigella, the things I do for you...

Sick sick *sniffle* *cough* *nose blow* *sniffle* *sneeze* *cough* *cough* *cough*

I believe that sums up my weekend. How was yours?

I've always liked participating in sweet Sara's Weekend Cookbook Challenge and being sick wasn't going to stop me this month. Sara picked the theme of finding a recipe from a newly acquired cookbook, figuring most of us foodies more than likely received at least ONE new cookbook for Christmas. Well, at least for me, she was right. :D

I was given Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson, because I've gushed so many times over Nigella's Feast cookery book in the past. As I've said more than a few times on this lil blog o'mine, Nigella Bites did not thrill me. I had even considered taking it back and trading it for something else, like Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits (why do I find this man so very sexy??), but I ended up holding on to it hoping that I just wasn't in a true Nigella mood each time I've looked at it and that one day I'd browse again and fall in love with Nigella anew.

'kay so I am lazy and kept forgetting and now the 30 days has ran out so I can't take it back. What. Ever. :P

Well this month's WCC gave me the perfect opportunity to see if I could look beyond the hum-drumness (It's my new word. Shaddap.) of this book and find something that will just knock the damn socks off everyone who lays eyes upon my wonderful salute to Nigella. Mmm hmmm...

Nigella's Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding

Yip, looks gorgeous doesn't it? Kind of like a can of wet dog food that's been inverted on a plate.. you know - the kind that has that slimy gel on the bottom? Mmm Mmm Good! *blech*

That's Nigella's Easy Sticky-Toffee Dessert, and not really a can of dog food. Honest. I knew the minute I stuck a spoon into my pudding that something had gone drastically wrong. The sauce wasn't a deep rich brown color and it definitely wasn't sticky, it was goopy and thin. I wasn't exactly sure what went wrong until I tasted it. There is nothing like a spongy brown sugar cake laying over a pool of toffee sauce whose flavor has been washed away by too! much! water! NOTHING.

So why am I wasting everyone's time looking at a nasty picture that tastes almost as good as it looks? Because, I have to admit, this was not Nigella's fault. It was mine. *sigh* You see, I didn't want to make one big pudding like her recipe suggests, I wanted to make 4 smaller puddings in my ramekins. And because I didn't alter the recipe at all and just divided it into equal amounts, I did not alter the amount of boiling water to be poured over the top of each lil pudding. I should have. Because I didn't, that extra water just washed out the flavor of the sauce completely. My bad. So, I firmly believe that this is most likely a fabulous, rich and ooey gooey dessert that deserves a chance. Do you know why I'm such a firm believer? Check this out.. go ahead, I'll wait.

*tap* *tap* *sniffle* *cough* *whistle* *tap*

Welcome back! Drooling, aren't you? Ivonne made this pudding the correct way and she was rewarded with caramelly toffee goodness. Pay attention to Ivonne's example when making this recipe! Or be a rebel like me and make it in individual portions but cut back the water by at least half.

Nigella's Easy Sticky-Toffee Pudding
Easy Sticky-Toffee Dessert
Adapted from Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson

For the cake:
scant 1/3 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1 c. plus 2 TBS. self-rising flour
1/2 c. whole milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. plus 2 TBS. chopped, rolled dates (I'm not fond of them so I subbed jumbo raisins instead)

For the sauce:
3/4 c. dark brown sugar, packed
Approx. 2 TBS. unsalted butter in little blobs
2 1/4 c. boiling water

Preheat oven to 375º F and butter a 1 1/2 quart capacity baking dish.

Combine the sugar with the flour in a large bowl. Pour the milk into a measuring cup, beat in the egg, vanilla and melted butter then pour this mixture over the sugar and flour, stirring - just with a wooden spoon - to combine. Fold in the dates then scrape into the prepared baking dish. Don't worry if it doesn't look very full: it will do by the time it cooks.

Sprinkle over the sugar for the sauce and dot with the butter. Pour over the boiling water (yes really!) and transfer to the oven. Set the timer for 45 minutes, though you might find the dessert needs 5 to 10 minutes more. The top of the dessert should be springy and spongy when it's cooked; underneath, the butter, dark brown sugar and boiling water will have turned into a rich, sticky sauce. Serve with vanilla ice cream, creme fraiche or heavy or light cream as you wish.

Serves 6-8.

Oh and if you were wondering about the title.. the things I do for Nigella? Yes well it was roughly around 3º F. yesterday with a wind chill factor of -18º. While gathering my ingredients to make this delicious dessert, I realized I had no dark brown sugar in the house. God. Rather than find something else to make, I got dressed and went out into the antarctic elements to buy dark brown sugar. While I am SICK, people. *sneeze*

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Comments on "WCC No. 13 or Nigella, the things I do for you..."


Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (2/05/2007 10:12 AM) : 

I think you might just blame it on the sickness! Somethings, sometimes just aren't ment to be.


Blogger Brilynn said ... (2/05/2007 12:04 PM) : 

Don't ever believe it's your fault!

Evil Nigella strikes again!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/05/2007 1:26 PM) : 

There are some keepers in Nigella Bites - the gingery hot duck salad I make over and over,as well as Granny Lawson's lunch dish (with readymade pastry), and the involtini is pretty great... Try a couple more, promise!


Blogger Lucy said ... (2/05/2007 4:44 PM) : 

This comment has been removed by the author.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/05/2007 8:46 PM) : 

And sticky toffee pudding is one of my all time favorites too!


Blogger Gattina Cheung said ... (2/06/2007 6:14 AM) : 

Lis, I split my side when I see your saying 'dog food!'... no no no, it's a beauty! I understand how disappointed you're about the wrong measurement. Or blame Nigella (I don't like her ;p)
Please take care darling!


Blogger Lis said ... (2/06/2007 6:15 AM) : 

Tanna - I agree.

Bril - hehee aww sometimes she's not evil (her chocolate cake section in Feast proves it) :D

Hester - I've made the involtini and it was quite good. Okay.. so I'll keep trying stuff out of this book, you've talked me into it. =)

peabody - you make it!! Your photos and post about it will give me the motivation to make this again!


Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (2/06/2007 7:58 AM) : 


You may not have liked the dish - these things happen sometimes, right? - but don't say it looks like dog food! Not at all - it looks good!!

I like Nigella, but we've had our differences, too. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/06/2007 10:37 AM) : 

I don't own a Nigella book so I don't know about her recipes. I think your toffee puddin' looks Yum yum good so I don't know why you did not like the outcome :). I think the sniffles clouded your judgement...:)


Blogger Acme Instant Food said ... (2/06/2007 12:47 PM) : 

Let's just face it -- Nigella can just make you do things! I think Marvo should review one of her books. It would probably cause his server to suffer a meltdown.


Blogger Alpineberry Mary said ... (2/06/2007 1:19 PM) : 

It's the "Nigella Effect". She makes you want to wear jean jackets and lick spatulas.


Blogger Ruth Daniels said ... (2/06/2007 5:40 PM) : 

Hysterical post, and I do hope you're feeling better.

Thanks for sharing.


Blogger Callipygia said ... (2/06/2007 5:52 PM) : 

I agree with everyone else- It's never your fault- you're perfectly you! Damn sticky toffee.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/06/2007 7:52 PM) : 

Sorry you didn't like it, Lisa!!!

Hope you're feeling better!


Blogger Unknown said ... (2/07/2007 9:52 AM) : 

This was a great post! I applaud your baking while being sick - and having such a sense of humor about it! Thanks for the recipe and letting us know what you think about the cookbook - I find that so helpful! I enjoy your blog!


Blogger christine said ... (2/07/2007 11:42 AM) : 

I actually drooled over that picture! I really love your posts, they always have me laughing or grinning the entire time.So much fun!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/07/2007 1:41 PM) : 

I just discovered your blog! I love it, the photos are great and there are gorgeous recipes like this sticky toffee cake! Seems luscious!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/07/2007 10:02 PM) : 

I didn't even think dog food until you mentioned it. Still looks delicious!

Hope you are feeling well soon.


Blogger Lis said ... (2/08/2007 8:04 AM) : 

Patricia - You are so sweet =)

Veronica - Well the sniffles sure have kicked me in the heiney this past week.. I guess they could be clouding my judgement as well. But I really think that you are just sweet and I've clouded your judgement because we are twins separated birth! hee!

Kev - I agree! Marvo should review Nigella! I am already picturing him pantsless with an apron on frollicking in his kitchen. Did I say that out loud?

Mary - HA! Yes and make love to your smashed potatoes in front of the camera.

Ruth - Thank you =) And thanks so much for stopping by!

Callipygia - And this is why I heart you so much. :D

Ivonne - Thanks sweetie! I think I need to taste test your version before I attempt it again!

Megan - Thanks! You've made me feel better this morning!

Christine - I'm tickled you enjoy them. I know I kinda like the kitchen disasters the best, they are much more fun to write about. *grin*

Noemie - Thank you! I hope you keep coming back. =)

Kristen - Yeah well that just shows my warped sense of humor, I guess. lol :D


Blogger Billa:... said ... (3/30/2008 1:17 PM) : 

haha! just reminds me when i try to make half portion of a recipe and than the same way i forgot to change the amount of ingredients....happened this when i was experimenting Turkish Delight Syllabub also from the Nigella bites and i changed everything except the cointreau =)my parents were the experimental rabbits so they had a very good night!
Ahh..and try the easy sticky-toffee dessert with tonka bean. It gives a very nice aroma to it.


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