Friday, 1 October 2010

From comfort reading to comfort television and comfort eating...

I meant today to write about the new Shopaholic book (Mini shopaholic) which one of my colleagues had kindly left on my desk for my return to work; we both hoped it would cheer me up, but when I got home I was too tired to do anything beyond lie on the sofa.

I did manage to put on the television last night and caught the first episode of the latest series of Nigella. I have mixed feelings about Nigella's cookery programmes - I think they are more entertaining than anything else and one can rely on the usual outcry by the critics regarding the "food porn" nature of the programme. But, it filled half an hour.

I *do* however like Nigella's cookbooks, well, specifically I like her book, How to be a domestic goddess (I have problems with most regular cookbooks since they are often at least half-filled with recipes containing meat which I don't eat, but this is rarely so much of a problem with a baking book). I also have her Christmas book, although I've only had it for one Christmas, so it is as yet to become as firm a favourite. I've been quite tempted by her latest book, as it has been half price in Waterstones for about a fortnight, but my current economic climate has forced me to resist.

However, I recently spotted a recipe from the book on a blog for a coconut and cherry banana bread, so with plenty of bananas that were going off (we'd bought them for refuelling after our swim), I thought it was time to make it. (In fact, it was the sight of browning bananas and my insistence on turning them into cake that proved to me that I had turned the corner in my recovery from my nasty cold).

It was pronounced very nice, and I'm minded to make it again, although it is a bit more extravagant than a regular banana bread. I'm also wondering about using that combination of flavours in a Verity friendly recipe (since I don't eat dairy or gluten), by making a coconut, cherry and banana flapjack.

It's shown here with a coconut cake that I made for my fiance last weekend, a recipe from a BBC Good Food 101 bakes and cakes book that I'd made before. I'd run out of butter so I had to use Pure (vegan spread) for the icing, but it gave it a wonderful texture and he said that he couldn't really tell the difference.


  1. Those cakes look delicious! I love Nigella, my lovely sister is buying me her latest book for my Birthday so I am looking forward to trying out lots of new recipes!

  2. "I have problems with most regular cookbooks since they are often at least half-filled with recipes containing meat which I don't eat, but this is rarely so much of a problem with a baking book" That is my problem with regular cookbooks as well. If you ever find a great one that does not feature meat, please let me know.

    And I don't own the "How to be a domestic goddess" book, but the mother of my boyfriend does and I often take a peek into the book and try a recipe. That is, until my oven started malfunctioning. I love her brownies..

  3. I love Nigella and that cheesecake last night looked absolutely fab!

    Your cakes look delicious, and make me wish I was not on a diet! I love baking and I do not want to risk making something from someone else because I know I will want to lick the bowl and then eat the end result!!

  4. Dot - I am envious, would love the book

    Jo - I loved the idea of that cheesecake too - if it's any consolation I don't eat the cakes I make as I am supposed to avoid gluten and dairy (I did have a one off cookie on Friday though as had such a bad day I thought it couldn't make things much worse

    iris - there's quite a good student cookbook called Bbeyond baked beans green, and the good housekeeping vegetarian book on their Easy to make series is also good for everyday things


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