20 April 2012

50 Woman Game Changers - Oh, Nigella!

Nigella says that these high airy scones look like they have cellulite ... what do YOU think ?

Nigella Lawson's book, How To Be A Domestic Goddess - Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking, is certainly a book on which to build one's reputation. Nigella Lawson has done that and moved on to perfect the naughty nuance and 'meaningful glance' on camera, pulled all the stops out to build whole episodes of her show around 'guilty pleasures', 'late night knoshing', and 'posh dinner parties'. For all her posturing, though, Nigella has the chops to brag on. She consistently comes up with excellent recipes, has a devil-may-care-attitude when filming her cooking procedures that gives viewers the confidence to 'throw together' their versions of her dishes, and gives good solid advice on technique and ingredients. For these reasons, she has made the cut and is included on the 50 Woman Game Changers list that Gourmet posted on-line last Spring.

                                                                                                                                                                 Image: courtesy tmcentertainment.co.uk

So, who IS Nigella Lawson ? She is the daughter of a Brit politician and his heiress wife, a somewhat troubled child who spent her school years bouncing from one school to the next, a graduate level student in medieval studies and modern languages, a journalist and editor at various times for The Sunday Times, Gourmet, Vogue, Bon Appetit and a bunch of other publications, a television food show host, a cookbook author, a mother who unabashedly enjoys cooking, and increasingly, a household domestic icon. Her success in media is such that her cookbooks are best sellers and her television show on The Food Network is in syndication. Her plate is full and one gets the feeling that that is exactly as Nigella likes it ... she seems a hard worker with a strong personality and strong views that she is unafraid of expressing ... and I like that about her.

I chose to make her recipe for Lily's Scones ... a fast, easy, and quintessential British food basic. Of course, I had to make the recipe a bit my own. Mine took a savory turn ... I added chopped chives and dill as well as an artisan Asiago cheese that I bought in a wonderful little cheese shop in Toronto.

I used a vintage biscuit/donut cutter to make the scones, shaved some of that leftover ham that I bragged on earlier in the week, and put together a decadent take on the basic ham and cheese sandwich ... no, these scones never made it to tea time. It was all about lunch here in the grey cottage.

This recipe makes 12 three-inch scones. The dough is very moist and fluffy. Nigella suggests that one mix it briefly and knead it lightly before rolling it on a floured suface to a one inch thickness. Cut it with the floured cutter and pop the scones onto a baking sheet, keeping them just barely separated so that when they puff up during a hot and fast bake, they join at the edges ...

Because I wanted to continue the savory thing with my scones, I topped them with a sprinkle of paprika after giving them an egg wash for that golden baked finish. They were incredibly moist and flakey, full of herb flavour and perfect with the shaved ham and whole grain mustard. They only thing that would have improved on these little 'sandwiches' would have been Nigella's recipe for Pineapple Chutney. A dollop with the ham and scones would've sent me into comfort food heaven.

Oh well, next time!

Lily's Scones
courtesy of Nigella Lawson


3 ⅓ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
4 ½ tsp. cream of tartar
¼ c. cold butter, cut into small squares
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening, added in 1 tsp, amounts
1 ⅓ c. whole milk
1 large egg, beaten – for egg wash

 Making the Scones:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F and lightly grease a large cookie sheet.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade mixer. If you are adding herbs, add them now and pulse them in the food processor to form a tinted dry mix.
  3. Add the butter in small amounts while pulsing to break it up.
  4. Do the same for the vegetable shortening, pulsing until the fat is in crumbles in the dry mix.
  5. Pour the milk in all at once and pulse until the dough begins to leave the sides of the processor bowl.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Sprinkle a bit of flour over top and knead lightly and briskly 12 times. Here is where you will push in any cheese or fruit add-ins that you choose to put into the scone dough.
  7. Roll the dough to 1 – 1 ¼ inch thickness and cut with a 2 – 3 inch biscuit cutter.
  8. Place the scones on the prepared cookie sheet, brush with the beaten egg wash.
  9. Bake for 10 – 13 minutes in the upper half of the pre-heated oven until the scones are puffed and golden brown.
  10. Serve while warm for best flavour.

Possible Add-Ins:

2 oz. cheese, grated
2 tbsp. chopped chives
2 tbsp. chopped dill
½ c. chopped dried fruit, raisins, currants, etc
zest of ½ a lemon or orange
chopped candied ginger

NOw, let's look at what everyone ellse is posting on Nigella! head on over to One Perfect Bite to see what the rest of the participants have chosen to share! And ... once again, thank-you, Mary for hosting this fun blogshare!


  1. Nigella is a character! I do like the way she cooks and I like her attitude towards cooking and entertaining! Especially when she's "rushing" in from outside and doesn't take her coat off! Oh, and let's not forget her midnight snacks! LOL!!! LOVE this recipe, thanks for sharing . . . I'm off to my Nigella books! Have a wonderful weekend!


  2. I love a savory scone and this is worth checking out - I think I could have the entire tray for dinner. Enjoyed learning about her - actually have never done a recipe of hers before this week!

  3. Every guys favorite cooking show host. I wonder why? I do love Nigella and that sandwich looks delicious. I love how your photos are larger, you can really appreciate your cooking talent when you can see every grain in the mustard and the flaky scone.

  4. These mile high scones are begging to be tried. If only I had tome to make up a batch before I headed off to work this morning.

  5. You didn't call me for breakfast! How scrumptious.

  6. Your scones look delicious! I never thought of making them savory. I have always had them sweet. I cant wait to try these. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. stunning!... I do love Nigella, she's ever so popular over here. these scones are rather good aren't they... lovely, covetable photos too!

  8. Thanks for posting this recipe. I love scones! I've never had a savory one—good idea.

  9. Fun to make her scones with your own twist! They look wonderful. She was fun to do, wasn't she?

  10. My, your scones came out beautifully! Nigella is an interesting character isn't she.

  11. These are glorious and I love your savory additions to her recipe. This was a fabulous post and you chose a great recipe to hightlight her style and food choices. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  12. I love myself some scones, be it a sweet or savory one. Love how you treated these scones and they look gorgeous, just like Nigella :)

  13. What a delightful post and delicious looking scones. Love that you took her recipe and made it your own.


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