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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

  • Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake Keeps Sinking

    I have made the Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake from How To Be A Domestic Goddess (p166) twice, but both times it has sunk in the middle on cooling. The cakes still tasted very nice, but it didn't look right, and the structure of the sunken bit obviously isn't right. Please could you help me work out where I'm going wrong? Because I'm pretty sure the problem is me, not the recipe. Thank you very much. Dennis

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  • Almonds As A Flour Alternative

    I'd like to try some alternatives to flour. For a biscuit recipe (Anzacs), I want to substitute almond meal for the plain flour the recipe requires. Should I still use bicarbonate of soda to get them to rise, or does this only work with flour?

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  • Crispy Duck

    I am cooking Crispy Duck from Nigella Express (p112) and the recipe says to cook at 170c/325F for 4 hours. This seems a bit high for such a long cooking period, is this correct?

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  • Pavlova Problems

    I've attempted to make the Prodigious Pavlova out of the Christmas book (p45) 4 times now and I can never get it right. I'm following the recipe to the letter - whisking it using my Kitchen Aid so I know its all whisked together thoroughly. I'm leaving it to cool in the oven without even looking at it and every time it falls apart completely. It often has lots of sugary liquid leaking out too but the last couple of times it didn't have this. It's more that it totally falls apart and its a complete disaster! Where am I going wrong?

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  • Leftover Ideas for BBQ Gravy?

    I've just made Ed 's Mother's Meatloaf from Kitchen (again), and this time I made the BBQ Gravy (p458) to go with it. I have a cupful left, it was lovely and it seems a shame to waste it, but I'm not sure what to do with it. Any ideas please?

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  • Oven Techniques

    I am finally installing my new "Smeg Oven" and I can't wait to start baking. Could you recommend a book for learning about oven techniques? Yours truly, Monique Brandalise, Netherlands

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  • Baking Layer Cakes

    Hi, I want to make Nigella's Devil's Food Cake (Kitchen, p253) but I don't have two sandwich tins. I am wondering if I can make the recipe and cook half at a time? Will half of the batter be OK standing while the other half is cooking? Also even if I were to buy another tin they won't both be able to sit on the same shelf in the oven so is it OK to have one on a higher shelf than the other? Should I rotate the tins halfway or do any other time adjustments? What option is best? 

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  • Whipped Cream for Cakes

    Hi! In India, there is only standard cream that is readily available. There isn't another category of whipped or heavy cream easily available. The problem I have is that when I whip the cream it gets get thick, but not thick enough. I've tried adding gelatin, but at best it reaches a soft mousse texture. As a result, the icing is mostly always dripping, and doesn't even set when refrigerated. Is there anything that I am doing wrong or something I can add or substitute for the non-heavy cream available here? I've tried all the usual tips of using fridge cold cream and beating over an ice bath. Thanks alot!

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