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She's mashed a tray of fish fingers, put banana skins in a curry and covered her bread dough in a leopard-print shower cap.

And viewers of Nigella Lawson's new cookery show were left scratching their heads again this week when the TV chef spent a toe-curling 71 seconds instructing the nation how to butter a slice of toast.

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But she's far from the first celebrity chef to teach home cooks the most basic of culinary skills.

From making tea to boiling eggs, here are the most blindingly obvious ones around. HANNAH FARMER gives her verdict and her advice on how to get them right.

Nigella Lawson (pictured) has been mocked for making a meal out of the simplest dish after spending 71 seconds telling the UK how to butter toast correctly

Nigella Lawson (pictured) has been mocked for making a meal out of the simplest dish after spending 71 seconds telling the UK how to butter toast correctly

TEATIME WITH A MODERN TWIST 

It might seem straightforward, but the everyday practice of making a cuppa has been elevated to a fine art.

Heston Blumenthal is so passionate about tea-brewing that he's come up with a gadget — the £169.95 Sage Tea Maker — to get it just right.

He says the perfect cup is not about the tea but the temperature you brew it at (somewhere between 70c and 100c).

Too hot and you burn the leaves, making it 'bitter' and 'astringent'.

He prefers loose leaf Earl Grey or Darjeeling to builder's tea, with skimmed milk added second.

Heston Blumenthal (pictured) is so passionate about tea-brewing that he's come up with a gadget — the £169.95 Sage Tea Maker — to get it just right

Heston Blumenthal (pictured) is so passionate about tea-brewing that he's come up with a gadget — the £169.95 Sage Tea Maker — to get it just right

Mark Hix, meanwhile, former executive head chef of The Ivy London, insists on loose leaf English breakfast tea in a China pot, 'which must be pre-warmed for three-and-a-half minutes'.

It's then served in a mug, tea first, with a splash of milk.

When it comes to bags, chefs rate a strong blend such as Yorkshire Tea, brewed for a few minutes so that when milk is added it is the colour of a Werther's Original boiled sweet.

MY METHOD: Heston's right; boiling water does add bitterness, so switch the kettle off around 20 seconds before it's boiled.

Put a teabag in a mug — I rate M&S's Luxury Gold blend — pour the water on top and let it brew for 90 seconds.

Remove the bag and add a splash of milk.

SUPERSIZE YOUR SCRAMBLED EGGS 

Delia Smith educated the nation on boiling eggs in her landmark book, How To Cook, in 1999.
Twenty-one years later, her method is still deemed fail-safe by both amateurs and professionals.

Bring a pan of cold water to the boil, gently lower in an egg (at room temperature; not chilled) and allow it to simmer for a minute.

Take the pan off the heat, put the lid on and terbaik sumatera continue to cook the egg for six minutes if you like a runny yolk, seven if you like it firmer.

When it comes to scrambling and poaching, techniques differ wildly. Gordon Ramsay has a seven-step technique, taking the mixture on and off the heat repeatedly for three minutes to get the texture just right.
He then adds seasoning and — controversially — a spoon of crème fraiche.

Jamie Oliver (pictured) once told the nation how to 'correctly' scramble an egg using nothing but butter, cooked until it's frothy

Jamie Oliver (pictured) once told the nation how to 'correctly' scramble an egg using nothing but butter, cooked until it's frothy

MasterChef's John Torode also uses crème fraiche in his scrambled eggs, while Jamie Oliver advocates nothing but butter.

Heston Blumenthal goes low and slow, stirring his eggs in a bowl suspended over boiling water for up to 20 minutes.

As for poaching, while some chefs (Gordon Ramsay, Theo Randall and Prue Leith) advise adding vinegar to the water to stop the egg from separating, others (including Jamie, Delia and Mary Berry) say this is unnecessary.
Nigella cracks her eggs into a tea strainer (to get rid of the stringy bits). Mary uses a saucer. While Jamie wraps the raw egg in cling film.

MY METHOD: For runny boiled eggs, it's got to be the Delia method: simmered for a minute on the heat and then six minutes off.

I scramble my eggs with nothing but butter in a saucepan over a very low heat; it can take up to ten minutes.

For poaching, vinegar makes no difference. Use fresh (not supermarket) eggs, swirl the water and simmer for three minutes exactly.

IT'S TIME FOR RICE, RICE BABY   

Rice might not sound like it requires a recipe — surely all you have to do is read the back of the packet?

— but it's notoriously easy to overcook.

Jamie Oliver's 'foolproof, hassle-free' method is the most complicated.

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