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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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Please note, we are only able to answer questions selected for publication and aren't able to enter into personal correspondence.

Latest Queries

  • Baking With A Slightly Larger Pan Size

    Hi, I have a question about baking. I love your baking recipes, and have followed many to make cakes, pies, cookies, scones, etc.  However I only own two 9-inch round pans with which to cook. Occasionally, you will call for an 8-inch pan which would allow the finished product to have a bit more height. I've not run into any problems using 9-inch pans, but, the cakes do sometimes look flatter and a bit less glorious than the finished photo in your many cookbooks. I realize that not all cakes would function in the way I am about to ask this question, and while I could easily purchase 8 inch rounds, I've been lazy, and not done so yet. If I wanted to add some height to the finished product, is there a general rule of thumb for upping the ingredients to create the desired effect. Again, since baking does call for a modicum of precision, would altering deter the final process? I was curious if you had any advice so that I don't have a flat cake. No one is complaining, and since I'm only cooking for my partner, family, and friends, I've yet to have someone say, that two tier cake looks a little short. Any suggestions? Or should I succumb to the purchase of two 8-inch rounds.

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  • Chocolate Birthday Cake

    Hi Kitchen Queries team, I am a huge fan of Nigella's Dense Chocolate Loaf cake (from How to be a Domestic Goddess) and would really like to make a variation for my daughter's birthday cake. I was wondering if the cupcake variation (p168) could be used? If so with what size cake tin? Can two pieces be sandwiched together? I appreciate that the Buttermilk Cake is probably a more practical option, however, my daughter would really like a chocolate one! I would really appreciate the help! Many thanks, Daniella Gardner

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  • Pancake Fillings

    Hi Nigella and team, my family love pancakes but I was wondering if you can suggest any interesting ways of serving them on Shrove Tuesday, rather than just the usual lemon and sugar?

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  • Stand Mixer Motor Power

    Hello,  I was wondering if I can make a good semolina bread with a 1000 watt mixer or do I need to buy a 1400 watt mixer? What is the added value of a high wattage?

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  • Storing Jam and Marmalade

    My mother always put a quarter of a tablet on the top of the waxed paper on marmalade and jam before storing it. I would like to know what the tablet was and did this prevent or reduce the amount of mould etc. She kept some jams for years! Is there a modern equivalent?

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  • Cooking With Limited Utilities

    Hello! I am currently living in Japan in a tiny one room flat. My kitchen consists of two hobs (gas), a microwave, a tiny fish grill, a toaster and I have a saucepan and two woks. For Christmas I managed to cook chicken in red wine and tomato sauce for seven, and I have cooked curries and make meatballs, so I do manage to cook decent meals in a pot, without an oven. I like baking but at the moment everything I have done has come out of the microwave. I want to make brownies and cheesecake and other cakes - I imagine I can kick-start a cake in the microwave for some minutes on a low setting, then if it is small (or cupcakes), finish in the grill to make it a little "fluffy". Is it possible to use boiling water/steam with a tight container? It is my best friend's 30th soon and he deserves an amazing chocolate cake, or perhaps a cheesecake ...

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  • Worcestershire Sauce in France

    Hi Team, I'm hoping you will be able to help me. I have recently moved to the French Alps and am struggling to find all those vital store cupboard essentials that we take for granted "back home"?.  I'm wondering if you know of a substitute (or French version) for Worcestershire sauce as i can't seem to find anything resembling it out here. Many thanks in advance for your wisdom and help! Cratchet.

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  • Honey in Flourless Cakes

    I would like to replace white sugar in your flourless cake recipes with honey. Would this work or be a disaster? Thank you, Angela B

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