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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

  • Chocolate Cake Breaking Into Pieces

    I made Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake from Feast (p269). When I checked the cake after 35 minutes of baking, there was a crack in the top and when I put the skewer into the centre it and it came out sticky, but in other parts of the cake the skewer came out perfectly clean. It seemed well baked on the whole. I let it cool under a cold fan. But the cake was very delicate, it was beaking up when I was shifting it from wire rack to plate. And after icing, when I cut it with a knife, again it was breaking into pieces. Taste wise it was very nice, soft, melting and moist. Everyone liked it. I didn't bake the cake in two separate tins, just in one tin and then cut it into halves using a thread. I baked it in a microwave convection oven. And I didn't have sour cream so I put the same quantity of single cream (thick straight from the fridge) and added some lemon juice to it. Why was the cake so fragile? Also what is the best substitute for sour cream here in Pakistan? Nazish.

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  • Almond Meal

    Hello Nigella Team!  In my country is hard to find "almond meal" so I wondered if I can make it from whole almonds? Do I just grind them? Thanks!

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  • Oven Types

    Hi! I recently got into baking and have been trying out recipes in my microwave, which doubles as an oven. Now I want to buy an actual oven just for baking (not the microwave kind) and I have gone through a lot of web sites but I am unable to decide whether to go for a traditional oven or a convection oven. Which is better for baking? Please help!

    What is the difference between a fan oven and a fan assisted oven?

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  • Cupcakes for a Wedding

    I am making 150 cupcakes for a wedding on June 9th (50 white chocolate, 50 carrot and 50 dulce de leche). How early could I make them and will they freeze OK?

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  • Cardamom Pods

    In some recipes, the use of cardamon pods is required. In general these recipes don't specify which type (green or black) to use. So which one do I use when not specified in recipes?

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  • Roxanne's Millionaire's Shortbread

    Hi. I've made the Roxanne's Millionaire's Shortbreads from Domestic Goddess (p240) about 4 times in the last few weeks and they're delicious. But today my caramel has turned out very grainy and I don't know why. Please can you help me - I used the correct ingredients and I stirred the mixture every minute - but obviously something wasn't quite right. Thanks

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  • Nigella's Black Dinner Plates

    On Nigella's videos she dishes up several of her recipes in some black dinner plates with a raised lip. The dishes also feature in the picture of Nigella from her Kitchen cook book where she is eating Slut's Spaghetti. Where did she get these plates?

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  • Gluten free recipes

    To convert recipes to Gluten Free is it simply a case of using gluten free flour or are there other changes to ingredients needed?  

    Hi Nigella, as always your site is full of delicious recipes however, I struggle with this as I have an intolerance to gluten. Could you possibly provide me with some alternatives? Thanks ever so much. Dorothy Jamieson, Shetland Isles

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