Take off the heat and set aside for the orange flavour to infuse while you get on with the bottom layer of the trifle. Nigella cookbooks are intimate – something like a diary. It’s perfect already. It’s flourless, ground almonds are used instead, making this scrumptious cake rather heavy. Because it's Queen Nigella and she'd approve of this indulgence. Why else would she call a recipe “Spring Lunch to Lift the Spirits?”. Leave in a cool larder for about 8 hours – longer if in the fridge as the flavours take longer to steep the colder it is. Of showing off for friends. On medium to low heat cook the custard, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon or spatula. The British author and television star Nigella Lawson just marked the 20th anniversary of her breakout cookbook “How to Eat.” In the years that followed, she reached the highest echelon of fame. The one whose spine is torn, whose pages are smeared, smudged and scorched.

If it looks as if it might be about to boil or split, quickly plunge the pan into the sink of cold water, beating furiously until danger is averted. You need add nothing. Now I am aware that Nigella has a cookbook dedicated to Christmas, but seeing as this is the December issue of CIBARE it feels only right to get my festive on. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Tickets for Nigella’s How to Eat Tour can be booked at faneproductions.com/nigella, The Guardian and Observer aim to publish recipes for sustainable fish. How to Eat delivered far more than recipes. I soak the sponge in orange-flavoured alcohol (I loathe the acrid dustiness of standard-issue sherry), infuse the custard with orange, and make an orange caramel to sprinkle over the top; this seems to bring out the fruity, egginess of it all, even if you are reduced to using frozen fruit. And it is the same with a classic cookbook. I call this a pudding cake because its texture is simply a mixture between pudding and cake, though lighter by far than that could ever imply. When How to Eat was published 20 years ago, the title told us what to expect – that this was not only about the pleasure of cooking, but a reminder that cooking is not an end in itself; we cook because we like eating. Yes, this is more than a cookbook, but heavens, the recipes are good. If you’re using the challah or brioche, you might need to make up more of your alcoholic mixture, as the bread seems to soak it all in much more quickly and thirstily. Toast the flaked almonds by tossing them in a hot, dry frying pan for a couple of minutes and then remove to a plate till cool. Having prepped the stuffings the night before, the bird goes into the oven for around 2.5 hours leaving me with time to peel the spuds, make the bread sauce and start on my Clementine cake. Incidentally, despite its name, buttermilk is very low in fat, which makes it useful if you want to keep a skinless portion (for virtuous reasons) as moist as possible. And that’s fine. You don’t want them to go on the salad when searingly hot: so cool for about 10 minutes. Bring to the boil and let bubble away until you have a thick but still runny toffee: if you let it boil too much until you have, almost, toffee (and I often do) it’s not the end of the world, but you’re aiming for a densely syrupy, sticky caramel. How to Eat is, at its heart, a deeply practical yet joyously readable book. And that’s what a classic does – it doesn’t matter when it was written, it doesn’t matter how styles have changed. Pour over the stock, sprinkle over the sugar and bring to the boil. She is greedy in the best possible way. How to Eat promised, and delivered, far more than recipes; here was a practical philosophy – a way of getting more enjoyment for yourself and others. Even in a book that really only touches on the subject, she has most angles covered. Not long before you want to eat it, whip the double cream till thick and, preferably with one of those bendy rubber spatulas, smear it thickly over the top of the custard. Without knowing the author For ratings in your region, check: UK; Australia; US, Available for everyone, funded by readers. It is intimate, confessional and offers a practical philosophy on how to enjoy food • Read Bee Wilson on how Nigella Lawson reinvented the cookbook This is about meals rather than recipes, be it a solitary supper (pasta with anchovy sauce) or lunch for six (roast pork, red cabbage and gingerbread). Beat well until all smooth and glossy again, then beat in the eggs. Has Nigella slipped up with her latest lockdown dish? For 8 people, I’d get 8 decent-sized (175-225g) baking potatoes, and leave them unpeeled but cut them into square chunks of about 1cm. By. Available for everyone, funded by readers. The book that has clearly done service for 20 years. Nigella’s prose is lustrous, seductive and reassuring. The subtitle redeems it - The pleasures and principles of good food . A pinch of Woody Allen: “Christmas is like the country; not much to do apart from eat and drink.” A dash of Oscar Wilde: “Being right isn’t everything.” A drop of Joyce Grenfell looking straight to camera and saying: “Remember that defrosted strawberries take on the texture of soft, cold slugs.” When she’s writing about feeding children I can’t decide whether she’s Mary Poppins, kind but firm – “It’s never too soon to get a child used to pink lamb and blue beef,” or whether she’s channelling Roald Dahl: “A pan so big that both the children could fit in it together – and have the lid put on too …”. What does she have to tell me about this dish? I have a purely personal reason for thinking of fish, of any sort, as the ideal solitary food because I live with someone who’s allergic to it. Where it all began: Nigel Slater celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nigella Lawson’s first cookbook. The book is split into clear and useful chapters; you’ve come home late and don’t want to spend hours cooking? There is a balance between the useful everyday stuff – “crumble”, “gravy”, “mayonnaise” – and the more decadent: “A camp, but only slightly, dinner for six.” Whether it was intended or not, the recipes are autobiographical. The chestnut stuffing was a winner, absolutely delicious but sadly the cranberry stuffing wasn’t, apart from cranberries, the other main ingredient is breadcrumbs and really thats all we could taste. It’s more than that, its an encyclopaedia of cookery covering all the basics and classics, its also a book you take on your morning commute. When I read Nigella, I’m there for the story. It gets more solid when cold, and loses some of that spectacular texture. Cheese is not grated over any pasta with fish in it in Italy (nor indeed where garlic is the predominant ingredient, either) and the rule holds good. Don’t worry about that: a little icing sugar will deflect attention. When it’s ready, take the cake out of the oven and put on a rack. Pour the orange juice into a saucepan and stir in the sugar to help it dissolve.