Forever Nigella: Seduced by Chocolate

Many of you have read about my surgical oncologist friend, (Codename: Candelabra), and our somewhat connected experiences with getting Nigella Lawson cookbooks signed. When I told Candelabra¬†about “Forever Nigella,” she exclaimed, “I want to cook along, too! But, I don’t have time to create a blog. Or write about that month’s recipe.” Having known Candelabra for several years now, I know that it’s much easier to have her tell me about her experience, and I’ll just be the one to put it in writing. That way, both of our experiences will be shared each month! However, for our inaugural “dual post”, Candelabra found time between surgeries to do her own mini write up about our selection for “Seduced by Chocolate”!

After a perusal of the two Nigella Lawson cookbooks we both own, Candelabra and I decided to make the chocolate mint cookies from Nigella Express. And, for even more decadence, I made Mexican hot chocolate from the same cookbook. Now, although I own Nigella Express, I used the recipes from Nigella.com because those versions give the measurements in grams, thus giving me a reason to use my kitchen scale!

The cookies themselves were rather easy to put together. I happened to make these on a massive baking day in my apartment, so I took a shortcut by making the cookies super-sized, used a 1/4 cup to measure out the dough, and let them bake for 15 minutes because my oven had basically been on all afternoon. The glaze was fun to make because the mint extract made the apartment smell like gel toothpaste for awhile. As for the Mexican hot chocolate, I made one health-conscious decision and used skim milk instead of whole. I know that Ms. Lawson would be horrified at this substitution and probably wouldn’t want to even know, but I felt I had to confess because it seems anti-indulgence.

Now, as promised, here is Candelabra’s write up and photos!

CANDELABRA: Just a few comments about these cookies. First, I made them with an egg from my favorite ICU murse (that would be short for “male nurse”) who has chickens on his farm and brought me eggs just a couple of days before I tried the recipe. The most beautiful eggs I have ever seen! So, not only does his day job involve doting upon the needs of the critically ill, he has time to raise chickens who hatch pretty eggs!

Second… BUTTER. I don’t bake often and I forgot how good butter tastes in home baked goods. Finally, I found it ridiculously difficult to master the perfect “random chocolate drizzle.” The first attempt looked mostly like splotches.

Second attempt, I was getting there, but still not quite right.

Slowly got the hang of it, and finally a lovely plate of minty chocolate chunk Nigella cookies!!In the end, I was left with minty chocolate drizzled kitchen floor, counter, and stove, but well worth the effort.”

To see this month’s round-up of “Seduced by Chocolate” Nigella recipes, head over to Forever Nigella! Or, better yet, join in the fun for next month!

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25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elaine
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 19:15:29

    A murse?! Oh, how funny! I have never heard that term before and I love it! :) Welcome, Candelabra! We have heard so much about you. Both of you did great jobs with your cookies – they look deliciously decadent. I really enjoy drinking Mexican hot chocolate so I will have to check out Nigella’s recipe.

  2. Ker-Yng
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 21:26:32

    I suppose you could use whole milk if you halved or even quartered the recipe! Both your cookies look good, wish I can sink my teeth in one!

  3. Ronda
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 22:03:07

    I love Nigella! This will be so fun to read. Looking forward to the coming posts!

  4. GPL
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 23:06:52

    Love Mexican hot chocolate! Well, almost any chocolate really. Great job and pix for both of you! COOKIES DEFINITELY TRAVEL WELL! :)

    I can almost smell them from here!!

  5. chunklet's mom
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 02:36:29

    Hope Candelabra got to enjoy some these fun cookies for her birthday :)

  6. curtorimfoodieszone
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 03:48:15

    First of all those eggs got me soooo excited :-)
    Coz i use exactly these type of eggs:-)
    From chickens who are really actually pets and always have a feather or 2 on them :-)
    And i dont get too muc ,but in my growing years we had lods of chickens in our backyard which was more like a farm with all sorts of kitchen plants and trees and food activity:-)
    And we always had excess eggs:-)
    they are not too big and a deep orange yellow!

    I love how u reached the drizzle act ,finally :-)
    Same here with my drizzle over the brownies , a pastry bag would mean too muc of a waste so i drizzled with a spoon , though i did see a special drizzle spoon ,online somewhere , dunno if that would work though or is better?

    U 2 pals sure had a ball , didn u?
    I dont have express and feast ,but definately want those 2!
    Nope , would she really be horrified?
    Nigella is v accommodating and if ur happy with the sub she would be too:-)lol!

    And the chocolate and cookies , i wannnn some tooo:-)

    Mia!

  7. sanyaliving
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 04:32:01

    Your pics of the Mexican hot chocolate actually made me exclaim in appreciation!
    Candelabra’s contribution is a great read! And her cookies look real good!

  8. Three-Cookies
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 05:28:10

    That chocolate cookie looks rich and gooey…thats what I want right now

  9. Kathy
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 07:30:37

    Those cookies look so amazing! I love chocolate and I love mint what could be a better combo. You both did a great job…I will look forward to reading more from Nigella!

  10. Miss Anthropist
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 10:02:50

    Great job, this looks delicious!! :)

  11. Mary
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 11:46:08

    It’s so much fun to bounce ideas off of and cook with friends. I’d say you both did really well. The cookies sound wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  12. Jessica
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 12:24:24

    Chocolate! I like that the two of you are trying recipes together. Is that a chocolate love letter in your Mexican hot chocolate?

  13. Brownieville Girl
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 14:20:50

    Big welcome to Candelabra!

    Both sets of cookies look wonderful, and I’m all for skimmed milk in the hot chocolate (every little helps!!).

  14. Andrew
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 15:47:40

    I know what you mean about the skim milk. In my current diet, I’m trying to cut back on fatty-delicious foods and so skim milk is a good substitution! Good job on the cookies!

  15. Sarah, Maison Cupcake
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 16:04:32

    Both of these look fantastic and I’ve not made either of them before. Nigella Express is one of my favourite books. It’s wonderful you got your friend Candelabra into this too! Thanks for joining in with this month’s Forever Nigella!

  16. Chaya
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 16:09:30

    Fabulous job. Isn’t chocolate wonderful?

  17. Kankana
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 20:04:10

    I am a huge fan of Nigella. Her cooking style and the way she enjoys both cooking and eating can be very very motivating :) These cookies looks yum .. and I so want to try them,, but you know what ? so far i made cookies twice and both the time it’s a flop :( I don’t know what weird measurement i use …

  18. Flourchild
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 21:21:01

    Wow everything looks so good! I love the cookies and the mexican hot chocolate makes me long for a cup right now! Welcome Candelabra! How fun to have a friend to share baking experiences with!!My brother is an ER Doctor, I know how busy they get!

  19. Cakelaw
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 01:19:17

    I am seduced by both the cookies and the drink. Who could resist either? Yum!

  20. Cher
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 14:41:51

    Oh, that hot chocolate looks just the thing…

  21. Liz
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 20:34:56

    This chocolate duo looks terrific! Great selections!!

  22. Quay Po Cooks
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 20:58:04

    These two are so tempting!

  23. Mary
    Feb 22, 2011 @ 19:58:36

    The random chocolate drizzles look absolutely perfect to me! I love Mexican hot chocolate, and think I’m going to make a cup right now. I use whatever milk I happen to have and it always tastes great. I won’t tell Nigella if you don’t. ;)

  24. Trackback: Seduced by Chocolate! It’s the Great Big Massive Forever Nigella Round Up! | maisoncupcake.com
  25. chanzdutt
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 01:16:38

    luks so yummmy..

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