Tag Archives: cooking

Dear Nigella Lawson re. your Baileys Tiramisu

Dear Nigella,

Following on from writing to Delia about the traumatic time I tried to follow her boiled egg recipe , I am writing to you about the time I made your Baileys Tiramisu.

I have a large bottle of Baileys in my fridge which my Dad got me for my Christmas present, a month later he died, so sadly this will be the last bottle of Baileys he ever got me. As it happens I am not that keen on Baileys but I used to be when I was 18, and every year since then my Dad or my brother bought me a bottle of Baileys as a Christmas present. I have never had the heart to tell them I don’t really like it, and since on Christmas day it is a bit nice in a coffee and its okay in an emergency “no wine in the house situation” so usually by the following Christmas I might just about finish the dregs of last years bottle so would be timely for next years bottle.

Anyhow my mum came to stay this week and she suggested making a Bailey’s tiramisu to use the bottle up as I am not keen on drinking it these days. I happen to love tiramisu so I decide that is a genius idea. When I later nip to the supermarket for some essentials I remember the tiramisu plan but failed to bring the ingredients list with me, but a sneaky look at a packet of ready made Tiramisu in Sainsburys tells me I need cream, marscapone, and sponge fingers. I figure I have coffee at home and it will all be fine.

Of course when I get home and look up your recipe here, I discover I am missing some of the crucial ingredients and don’t have the right amounts of anything. So I am going to share the LadyCurd version (my amendments are in purple) of your Baileys Tiramisu.

An IrishCream LadyCurd Tiramisu


  • 350ml espresso coffee, made with 350ml water and 9 teaspoons instant espresso powder, cooled (I had a nespresso pod to make a large espresso about 100ml)
  • 250ml Baileys cream liqueur (check)
  • 2 x 200g packets Savoiardi (Italian lady finger) biscuits (I only bought one 200g in the supermarket)
  • 2 eggs (check)
  • 75g caster sugar (check)
  • 500g mascarpone (I only bought 250g)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder (hot chocolate powder)


Serves: 12 (or should if you have enough ingredients!)

  1. Mix the coffee with 175ml of the Baileys in a shallow bowl. Dip the biscuits into this liquid; let them soak on each side enough to become damp but not soggy. Line the bottom of a 22cm square glass dish with a layer of biscuits. (I’m still waiting for the coffee to cool down so I ignore this step and start with step 2)
  2. Separate the eggs, but keep only one of the whites. Whisk the two yolks and the sugar together until thick and a paler yellow, then fold in the remaining 75ml of Baileys, and the mascarpone to make a moussy mixture. (I do this but figure I had probably better halve the alcohol as all the other ingredients have been halved apart from the eggs!- so I put 50ml in – I think the extra 12.5ml of Baileys was just for luck)
  3. Whisk the single egg white until thick and frothy; you can do this by hand with such a little amount.(I don’t like waste and don’t want to faff with an unwanted egg white so I thought sod it and whisked both of them using an electric whisk as less hassle) Fold the egg white into the yolky mascarpone, and then spread half of this mixture on top of the layer of biscuits. (folding it was not going to happen – mixture went all lumpy- I got the electric whisk on it again. Then I remembered I hadn’t done step one so I added a huge slug of baileys to the espresso probably 100-150ml) and then quickly dipped the biscuits and started to layer them up. At the same time I am also cooking the toddler’s healthy pizza and chips tea and making sure the baby isn’t choking on a rice cake. I am impressed with my multitasking even if no-one else is.)
  4. Repeat with another layer of soaked Savoiardi, and then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture. (did this it took up a large oblong glass dish- double the mixture would have been massive and too much for one person to eat as my mum has now gone home and we have no house guests and my husband doesn’t like tiramisu)
  5. Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. (by some willpower I managed it) When you are ready to serve, push the cocoa powder through a small tea strainer to dust the top of the tiramisu (no cocoa powder so made do with too sweet hot chocolate powder then remembered too late the Bournville cocoa powder in cupboard)
  6. Due to alcohol content serve small portion to unsuspecting friend @Glosswitch who has come for tea but needs to drive somewhere that evening as do you. Both have two spoonfuls and admit defeat as far to alcoholic to proceed and be able to drive safely. Put back in fridge for later.
  7. Get in later that evening and consume two bowls of IrishCream LadyCurd Tiramisu. Mouth goes numb and get quite drunk and fall asleep.
  8. 3pm next day ponder if Tiramisu is allowed as an afternoon snack but you probably shouldn’t as have to drive and pick up toddler from Nursery at 6 so write this letter instead all the while mouth watering at thought of tiramisu snack.
  9. 3.30pm finish post realise it needs a photo of the LadyCurd tiramisu so serve up a bowl for the noble purpose of adding photographic evidence to this letter and then eat it.
  10. Eat Tiramisu- feel sick and a bit drunk but yummy and happy and now need to carry on with work, oops!

So yeah absolutely fab recipe Nigella- with hindsight halving all the ingredients properly except for the alcohol was possibly a mistake [hic]. I think my version needs a touch more coffee flavouring and liquid to the sponge fingers so another espresso would have been ideal. But all in all I am very pleased with it- LordCurd doesn’t like Tiramisu and obviously the kids can’t have any so it’s a lovely indulgent desert for me to eat up swiftly in next couple of days.

A very fitting tribute to my Dad’s last ever bottle of Baileys Christmas Present.



P.S It has two raw eggs (and half all the other non alcoholic ingredients) in – how long do I have to eat it up if I made it on Tuesday Night?


Dear Delia Smith Re. Your Boiled Egg Recipe

Dear Delia Smith, Re. Your Boiled Egg Recipe

I don’t really cook as LordCurd is a fabulous cook so he tends to do all the cooking in our house.  However I just wanted you to know that ever since I was old enough to boil an egg, without fail I have had to look up the “recipe” in your How to Cook – Book One.   It is my Boiled Egg Bible.

However unfortunately rather than solving my “how long do I fecking leave them in for!?” it then seems to create more cooking conundrums:

  • Do I have large, medium or small eggs?
  • They are barn eggs, I now have terrible guilt they are not free range organic ones.
  • Are they fresh? How do I tell?
  • They were in fridge- do I need to let them get to room temperature? (LordCurd insists on keeping them there- GRR)
  • Do I start with a pan of cold water or boiling water? Which is best?
  • I think two eggs each will be plenty (well probably too much for toddler but LordCurd might want it when he gets in) but what was that thing my mum said about you can only have two eggs a week unless you are a lorry driver?  I had scrambled eggs on monday – what does this mean? And why can lorry drivers have more? I had better ask twitter this.
  • I really need to buy an egg timer, that would be a useful thing.  Will look at the Lakeland catalogue.
  • Where on earth did I put the eggcups?

and so on. So I often then end up rereading your 4 page preamble into the world of eggs just to refresh my knowledge…..

So now we are at least 20 minutes into my attempt at following your recipe to make a very quick and simple meal for my me and my daughter.

In fact let me share with you in detail exactly how my attempt to make boiled eggs for me and my eldest daughter went last night following your recipe:

  • Get How to cook book and turn to page 15
  • Get eggs out of fridge (and sigh again at LordCurd who won’t keep them at temperature).
  • Boil a kettle
  • Check whether the recipe says boiled water or not- see option 2 for perfect soft boiled egss is the boiled water one (phew!) so follow that one.
  • Put boiling water in a pan on the stove.
  • Remove hungry toddler who is in imminent danger of being horribly scalded from the kitchen.
  • Realise pan is too big to cover my eggs by the 1/2inch of water your recipe requires and so locate smaller pan and pour the boiling water into that pan.
  • Remove toddler again who wants to “help”
  • Add eggs gently to water with a spoon as your recipe suggests.  Instantly one cracks and bubbles because they were at fridge and not room temperature against your wise advice. Thanks LordCurd.
  • Realise I haven’t set the timer.
  • Remove now tantruming toddler from the kitchen and try and distract her with Cbeebies while I try and remember- To “Simmer for one minute” so try keep half an eye on the clock.
  • Start hunting for the countdown timer on my iPhone so I can time the rest of it PROPERLY and so have perfect soft boiled eggs with a runny yolk.  Realise that a minute has probably passed by now so turn off heat.
  • Toddler starts yelling because she wants to play on my iPhone.
  • Realise recipe requires pan lid- can’t find pan lid for new pan, so use pan lid for the orginal pan that was too big.
  • Time is ticking on- finally find the stopwatch on my phone and set it for 5minutes rather than the 7minutes required as reckon about 2 minutes have elapsed since I was supposed to start timing.
  • Put the toast on.
  • Realise the recipe said take the pan OFF the heat. Take the pan off the heat.
  • Locate the very hungry caterpillar egg cup and soldier tray that has never been used and was a newborn present for Oddler (she’s two!)
  • Locate the VW campervan egg cup for my eggs
  • Butter the toast and cut into soldiers. Realise not enough soldiers for me. Put more toast on.
  • Timer goes off, get egg out and put it in egg cup.
  • Toaster pops up – get distracted into buttering more soldiers
  • Realise have left other eggs in boiling water so are still cooking.
  • Take them out.
  • Get boiled water dripping all over my lovely hot buttered soldiers.
  • Sigh.
  • Chop the top off my perfect soft boiled eggs that I followed a recipe for.
  • Discover they are infact mostly hard boiled with that annoying vaguely liquid bit in middle which is hopeless for dipping.
  • Sit down with Toddler to eat them.
  • Baby starts screaming
  • Toddler refuses to eat anything but the soldiers.
  • I eat mine.
  • Toddler then wants to eat mine and is cross because I ate mine.
  • Toddler is then half tricked into eating the egg white part and utterly rejects the yolk (as I often do too!) so thus rendering the entire sorry business of trying to get the perfect yolk utterly redundant.

And that Dear Delia- is “How to Boil a Fucking Egg” in my house.

Eggsarperatedly yours



Hungry Caterpillar tray (the second egg was redundant!)


The cracked egg I nobly ate myself instead of giving to the toddler


My egg


Your marvellous bible that teaches me how to boil an egg.


Might have helped had it not been upside down