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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

  • Christmas Cakes

    Hello, I'm planning to make the Traditional Christmas Cake from Nigella Christmas this weekend but needed to clarify the quantity of bourbon/brandy required for the medium sized cake (20cm square). I am more than happy to put in 400ml of bourbon but as it is a drastically different amount to other Christmas cake recipes I've looked at I did wonder if it was a typo? I do hope it's not! Thanks.

    I have a recipe for a Christmas cake to be cooked in an 8" tin but I would like to make a couple of smaller cakes instead. How do I go about adjusting the ingredients for a 4 3/4 x 1 3/4 deep tin? Chris Luckings.   

    I would like to make Nigella's Incredibly Easy Chocolate Fruit Cake (Christmas, p180) for Christmas. Can you please tell me if the 350g of prunes are dried or tinned? Its my first Christmas cake and I don't want to start off with the wrong ingredients. Hope you can help me.

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  • Yule Log

    Hi, I'm just wondering if you have any suggestions for reducing the sugar content in Nigella's amazing Yule Log? I have tried fruit sugar/fructose and stevia with average to poor results so would love to hear some suggestions!

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  • Royal Icing

    Hello, I notice that Nigella often suggests using "Instant Royal Icing" for cupcakes and cookies, to which one just simply adds water to make. I live here in the US and have a hard timing sourcing this. As I'm concerned about food safety, I'm hesitant to use raw egg whites to make the icing, and I want something other than a glace frosting! What would be a good alternative to making instant royal icing at home? Thank you!

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  • Black Cake

    Hello, I've soaked the fruit ready to make Black Cake for Christmas. In Domestic Goddess the recipe says to use half the fruit in making the cake. Is that an error or do I do something else with the rest of the fruit? Many thanks, Anita

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  • Holiday Fir Cake Tin

    I have the Holiday Fir cake tin used in Nigella Christmas to make 'Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake' and would love suggestions for alternative cake recipes (including fruit) that would work well in this tin. Thanks!

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  • Shaped Fruit Cake

    Hello, I have made Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake for quite a few years now and everyone just loves it! I do make the same thing every year though so was going to try to make it a little different. I was planning to make it in a "holiday tree" bunt tin which, clearly, presents some challenges for decorating. I had wanted to do more than just a sprinkle of icing sugar and was thinking of pouring a thin (but complete) layer of chocolate over it. I'd thought that this should hopefully effectively seal the cake and help it to last at least a few weeks as well as enhancing the 'chocolatey-ness'. Do you have any experience of anyone doing this or any tips you could maybe offer? Many thanks!

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  • Christmas Plum Cake

    I am using Nigella's recipe for my Christmas Plum cake. How long can i store the cake? Do I need to keep it refrigerated?

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  • Flavourings for Christmas Baking

    Hi! For many years I have been using essence of maraschino and essence of ratafia in my Christmas baking, but now the bottles I have are empty and despite numerous attempts to find them in any supermarket or specialist shop, I am not having any luck. The empty bottles came from a defunct company called Langdale. Any ideas where I can get hold of them? Many thanks.

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