Nigella is such a liar!
I was going to blog about the lovely anniversary dinner I had with Per on Saturday, but I can't - I'm too upset. This has, so far, been the cooking evening from hell. And it's only seven thirty.
Started by having the lid of my salt shaker fly off as I was salting the pasta water. Three quarters of the (large) container emerged, most of it thankfully into the water, but a lot also landed on me, my floor and my stove. Enough to find remnants of salt for weeks, I'm sure.
Next was making a birthday cake for my sister. I was going to make Nigella Lawson's Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake from Feast. All went fairly well, until I was going to pour boiling water down the funnel of my food processor. For some reason, I decided to use a metal measuring cup. Not such a great idea. Severe fingertip burn. Hurts.
That hurdle passed, barely, and next came - "line the tin with overlapping clingfilm. Don't panic - it won't melt." Like HELL it won't melt, Nigella! What kind of clingfilm do YOU use? The IRON kind? Let me just say - MINE melted. Which means all the loving labour spent on the cake is probably totally meaningless. Right now, I have a ruined loaf tin (and I didn't use my cheap IKEA one, either) with a chocolate cake in it. It smells delicious (if you can get past the scent of melted plastic, that is) and it's probably completely inedible.
If you look closely, you can see the melted plastic bits.
Oh, and to add insult to injury - Nigella also has you poke holes in the cake with a skewer, and then pour chocolate syrup onto it. I decided to go through with this last step, just in case the plastic magically heals and is not incorporated into the cake. (Still not fit for a birthday, but it might be some comfort.) Two mistakes. First, the chocolate syrups boils with a fury. All over. My salt-splashed stove now also has chocolate syrup on it. Lots. Then Nigella says, "if you don't have a cake skewer, just use a straw of spaghetti!" Oh yes. Do that. And like me, have the spaghetti break in neat inch intervals, lodging themselves inside the cake. Please.
I just feel like screaming. All the way to the UK. Hope she can hear me.
Update August 2007 - this is one of my most commented-on entries. I'm now forced to close the comments, as I'm not happy with getting heaps of abuse about this. Really, it should be taken rather lightly - I'm a big Nigella fan, and while this particular recipe was a dud, I'm very happy with just about anything else I've tried. The recipe I tried was as written in the first edition of the book, and the instructions have been changed in later editions and on the tv show. Apparently I wasn't the only one with problems. Anyway. I even feel a bit eager to try this again!