Weekend Cooking: Nigella Christmas

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. It is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Nigella Christmas This beautiful book I received just a few days before Christmas: I won it (the Dutch version) from a Dutch website: watleesjij (whatareyoureading), a sort of Dutch Goodreads. The book is Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson, a well-known t.v. cook in England.

The book contains a lot of recipes for Christmas. As the author is English, expect the ubiquitous turkey, parsnip, sprouts and stuffing (as well as lots and lots of other great recipes).

I’ve been eating this same Christmas dinner for about 20 years so I’m not likely to make it myself. (There’s nothing wrong with it, my mother in law cooks it beautifully, but you can’t really get away from it when you celebrate Christmas in England. I’m all for a change).

If you’d like the traditional English Christmas dinner you’re in the right place, but there are also many, many other recipes, that would do well at another celebration, to enjoy casually with friends or even to make for your family on a weekday. I’m definitely going to cook or bake something for New Year’s eve from this book!

I’d like to share a recipe: Chestnut and Chocolate Pots

Chestnut and Chocolate Pots

Photographed from the book

This looks delicious and I may try and make it for New Year. The trying bit is getting hold of chestnut puree, which I know I can get in England (I even know what the English can looks like!), but maybe not so easily in the Netherlands.

Chestnut and Chocolate Pots: What you need

175 gr (6 oz) dark chocolate of the finest quality

1.75 deciliter (6 fl. oz) double cream (more if you supply some for your guests to add to their pot)

0.75 deciliter (2.5 fl. oz) full-fat milk

1 egg

250 gr (0.5 lb/ 9 oz) can pureed chestnut

2 table spoons (30 ml, 1 fl. oz) dark rum (possibly, I’ll leave this out because of my kids!)

Chestnut and Chocolate Pots: How to prepare

  • Use the kitchen machine or muscle power to break the chocolate into tiny pieces.
  • Heat the double cream and the milk until almost boiling and pour it in the kitchen machine (I don’t have one so mine is going to be mixed by hand, or with a simple mixer).
  • Let the machine work for another 30 seconds, break the egg and add it and turn the machine on for another 45 seconds.
  • Add the pureed chestnut and the rum and let the machine work until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Use a rubber spatula to fill 6 little 1,25 deciliter (4 fl. oz) glasses or pots.
  • Put a small jug with cream (not whipped) on the table so people can add some to their chocolate pot if they want to.

The book

I think this is a great book and I’m looking forward to make many recipes from it. Anyway, I squealed when I received the book (I wasn’t previously notified that I had won it).

After Christmas it still makes a great present for people that love to cook for themselves, for friends or entertain more seriously. Most recipes are easy to make and sometimes include factory-prepared ingredients so you don’t have to make everything from scratch. Although you could too, if you wanted to.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

26 Responses to Weekend Cooking: Nigella Christmas

  1. Mystica says:

    I watch her TV show almost daily here in Melbourne. Her receipes are good – the only criticism is the amount of cream,
    butter, oil and fats used! but she has a beautiful style of
    delivering the receipes!!!!

    • leeswammes says:

      Yes, Nigella is heavy on the high-calorie ingredients, Mystica! I find that too. But I’m sure sometimes you can replace them or leave them out. Maybe the result is not so good but it is better for the waistline.

  2. Cindy says:

    It is a lovely book, I have it too.
    Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

  3. chasing bawa says:

    I love Nigella! She makes you feel good for wanting to eat:)

  4. Joanna says:

    That sounds gorgeous Judith, thanks for posting the recipe!

    • leeswammes says:

      My pleasure Joanna. Now unfortunately, the whole of Tesco Peterborough did not seem to have chestnut puree. What a pity! I have to find another recipe for New year!

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  6. Beth F says:

    I too really love Nigella — lucky you for winning the book. I think the dessert sounds heavenly and not at all hard to make.

    Merry Christmas.

  7. Chinoiseries says:

    Yum, that recipe sounds terrific. But where to get (pureed) chestnuts in Holland at the moment? 😉

    • leeswammes says:

      Chinoiseries, indeed. Where? I wasn’t even able to get the chestnut puree in England, but then I only looked in one supermarket (the size of 3 or 4 mega Albert Heijns).

  8. hrose2931 says:

    I love Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks. She’s humorous and her recipes are usually fairly simple not requiring a ton of special ingredients. I have several other of her cookbooks and though living in the U.S. some of them are strange, for the most part, I’ve loved her recipes.

    Let us know how the other recipes are!

  9. teadevotee says:

    I made the Girdlebuster Pie last year. It was insane! The butternut squash lasagne is one of my favourites though – and good all year round (though I only make half because otherwise you end up with a vat of lasagne…)

    • leeswammes says:

      We had butternut squash at Christmas, Teadevotee, and I think the family likes it enough to try it in a lasagna. If I can get the squash here in the Netherlands. Probably in the green grocer’s.

      The Girdlebuster Pie sounds great and it’s the sort of thing I love to make. I will keep your recommendation in mind. I want to start some cooking/baking from new recipes next week again. Do I care if the Pie is for Christmas? Not a bit!

  10. signalman says:

    You’re more likely to find butternut squash in C1000 or even better at a market, like the Aelbert Cuyp…
    Albert Heijn ( & the Netherlands in general ) seem to stick with more ‘normal’ vegetables, sadly. Only seen parsnips, for example, on a regular basis for the last year ! No idea why.

    • leeswammes says:

      Thanks for the advice, signalman. I’m a bit far form the Albert Cuyp, but C1000 is near. They seem to have some special items, indeed. We also have a very goof green grocer’s that stocks just about anything (but not always when I need it!).

      You know, I think parsnip is treated in the Netherlands like chicory in England. Rare, expensive, often sold as one or two pieces together. Never by the pound or kilo. Actually, I love parsnip! And I’m not so keen on chicory. So I’m definitely in the wrong country. As far as those veggies are concerned.

  11. signalman says:

    My local C1000 now has a section on ‘Forgotten Vegetables’.

    I was surprised and pleased to find parsnips there ( as well as ‘black carrots’ !!!!??

    Mind you, the weighing machine didn’t have the correct picture, the (young) shelf stocker didn’t know what they were, so it took me giving the English word, plus an elderly Dutch lady, who knew what parsnips were to work out the correct number !

    I amused her, in my pronunciation, by putting the wrong stress in the Dutch word, incorrectly emphasising the ‘aapjes’ part ( since I recognised that part as a real word !) Ah, well, a smile in a busy day is good for all !

    No, I didn’t try the zwarte peen either !

    • leeswammes says:

      “Forgotten vegetables” sounds like a great idea. The black carrots, are they really carrots? I’ve never heard of them (ha! forgotten indeed!).

      I recently bought some sweet potatoes in Albert Heijn. It was the first time I saw them there. There was no pricing but I needed it for a recipe and it saved me from having to go into town (to that green grocer’s) so I took them. At the check out they didn’t have a price for them (didn’t know what it was either) and even at the service desk they couldn’t help. I got them for free and haven’t seen them there since. Maybe a wrong delivery that day!

  12. signalman says:

    Yes, they were black, but I think they are also know as purple. They are apparently still common in Asia, and re-introduced to the west. Allegedly, sweeter.. if I see them again, I will try them.

    Of course, I actually meant turnips, not parsnips ! All the talk about parsnips must have affected me !

    So, yes, turnips = meirapen, hence the monkey-confusion ! At least I know the word now.

    • leeswammes says:

      Thanks for teaching me the Dutch word for turnips! I didn’t know that word yet. Parsnips, turnips. ach, it’s all pig fodder if you ask the Dutch.

  13. signalman says:

    Chestnut pureé ? In Holland ? I might have scoffed at this, but imagine my surprise when in my local C1000 tonight to buy my milk, and I see tins of chestnut pureé !!! Next to the Faitrade section ?!

    Has C1000 gone upmarket ? Is the Netherlands going international ?

    No idea, but if you want chestnut pureé, and you live in the Netherlands, you know where to go !

    Be afraid….Dutch supermarkets are offering more choice !

    • leeswammes says:

      Wow, that is totally amazing (and I’m not using “totally” in the teenage American girl way, I hope). I must have a look in C1000, which you also recommended for parsnip and black carrots (although I’m not sure I’ll bother with the latter).

      Something is happening the the Netherlands! We’re getting more variety in foods. Wow-y.

      I’m not bothered about the price though. The recipe is a Christmas recipe, i.e. for a special occasion. So, just once, that should be OK. I did decide not to make another recipe (I think it was the panaforte) from Nigella’s book just yesterday, as we wanted to make it just for fun, but adding up all the ingredients would make for an expensive bit of fun! It was obviously a special recipe – only for Christmas or special occasions.

  14. signalman says:

    …but at EUR 2,99 … That’s the rub, as an Englishman might say

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