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This morning, my wife, S, decided she’d bake us up a quick breakfast. We had some bananas that were turning just a tad too ripe and had to be eaten right away, mashed up and turned into something, or thrown out. She decided she’d try option 2 and turned to Nigella’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. In this rather delicious (but often inaccurate) book, there’s a recipe for Banana Muffins that Ms Lawson claims is so easy any child could make it.

I won’t include the recipe here. Any one who really wants it can get it out of the book (it is on page 220 in the 2000 Chatto & Windus edition). I will say though that the ingredients are pretty simple: butter, honey, vanilla extract, bananas, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, and salt. Amusingly, S noted that the ingredient list was quite dog-friendly as well—especially with the use of honey instead of processed sugars.

The muffins were, as promised, easy to make. Unfortunately, they were also pretty mediocre. Overall, they lacked flavour. It could have been the use of honey instead of sugar. It could have been the bananas we used. Maybe Nigella simply likes her muffins bland. Anyway, even though we didn’t particularly enjoy them, they didn’t go to waste. Simply put, they’ve gone to the dogs.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his three kids!


14 May 2005


Yes, there are lot of negative comments on Nigella’s inaccurate recipes and bland tastes. Lots of people have very bad experiences when trying to follow them. That was also a reason why I still haven’t purchased her book, although, the pics look great!

Some I know not what to think of Nigella’s recipes. She isn’ a trained chef, and I think she is a little cheeky in putting recipes together which call for a little bit of this and a little bit of that, when people pay close to $50 for a recipe book with the hopes that their efforts will weild a good result.

On the other hand, when I tried the recipe for her lilac cupcakes (the cake component), they turned out well. I dod however ignore her instructions to just add all ingredients in a food processor and blitx furiously. I did the tradition creaming of butter-sugar eggs etc. But they were a hit.

Anyway, long enough comment. New to your blog, and have enjoyed reading thus far.

Hopefully Nigella Lawson’s books will be a “gateway drug” – get people cooking and move on to better, more interesting and specialized cookbooks. I think HOW TO EAT was one of the most important cookbooks of the 1990s and is the dirtiest one on my shelf. It’s sad that what followed are a bit of a dissapointment. Beware the madeira cake recipe in DOMESTIC GODDESS. Also, try to find a master muffin recipe that uses yoghurt in the batter. That insures against blandness. There’s one in Molly O’Neill’s New York Cookbook for blueberry muffins that I’ve varied for other fruit studded muffins.

Hi! I’m new here. I just made these same muffins a few weeks ago and they were horrid. Unfortunately, my pet rabbit only likes raw banana, not cooked. So I threw them out.

I tried baking Nigella’s chocolate chip muffins and they were horrid too. It was overly sweet and too oily. Threw out the whole batch. What a waste.

Finally an explanation as to why my double chocolate muffins (a Nigella recipe) were so aweful. I am not excluding the possibility that I made some massive error, but most of the muffins that we bake actually tast halfway decent, and these were distinctly not good.

Having said this, the Nigella’s Christmas book is quite a different story. Her rolled pork loin recipe in particular is truly awesome.

Am new to your blog and have enjoyed it this far. 🙂
I’ve used a few of Nigella’s recipes too and I’ve had nothing to complain about, yet. I used the ones that are posted on her website and those that she features in her show Nigella Feasts.
The Banana Muffin recipe I across used sugar, and not honey.
But I must say, I’ve tried other banana muffin recipes too, notably the one listed in the Joy of Baking site and it tasted better. 🙂

That’s a shame about the muffins being bland…hopefully it was the bananas, not the honey, because I like honey a lot as a healthier sweetener than sugar…

These comments are very interesting as I was always led to believe that "How to be a Domestic Goddess" is the bible of baking. That having been said, I tried to make Nigella's chocolate brownies on two different occassions, both unsuccessfully. I eventually thought that we have a problem with our oven! I also started to think that perhaps I was just a useless baker, but having followed some other non-nigella recipes to a fantasic conclusion, and having read the posts on this site, I'm now wondering whether my brownie disaster was my fault at all!

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