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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 Fruit Cake & Marzipan Fruit Cake

    I am making the Chocolate Fruit Cake from Nigella's book Feast (p280). l would like to know whether I can make it before Christmas and put it in the freezer? And if so, how do l handle it when l take it out? Also can l put figs in place of the prunes? Kind regards S  

    Hi, I prefer a lighter, moister fruit cake for Xmas, so is it possible to use the Marizpan Fruit Cake recipe from Domestic Goddess (p34) as an Xmas cake? Will it be ok to feed with alcohol and if I make it now will it still be ok for Xmas?

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  • Royal Icing Setting Times

    Recently I decided to try making Nigella's cupcakes with royal icing. I assumed that the icing would set firm fairly quickly, but alas it took about 12 hours! Is that normal? And just how hard is it supposed to set?

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  • Food Colouring For Baked Goods?

    Hi, I have some wonderful silicon cupcake moulds in the shape of roses and I wanted to bake some rose shaped cupcakes, with rose water essence to give them a floral scent/taste and add some food colouring to make them a red or pink colour. Unfortunately when I try it the rose essence works fine, but the food colouring (a cheap supermarket own brand food colour) isn't working - the cakes come out sort of a brown. I can only suppose that the colour is ok for icing but not baking - but there must be a food colour that works when baked for the Red Velvet cake recipes.

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  • Marzipan Fruit Cake

    I am dying to make the Marzipan Fruit Cake from How To Be A Domestic Goddess (p34), but for some unknown reason, dried pears are not available in Germany and I have looked high and low for them. I have even considered ordering online. Are there any suitable substitutions?

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  • Keeping Snow Topped Spice/Chocolate Xmas cakes

    Could you give me an idea of how well Nigella's Snow Topped Spice Cake (Domestic Goddess, p253) keeps? I was thinking of making this in place of a Christmas cake this year, but I am wondering if this is the sort of confection that needs to be whipped up at the last moment? Many thanks for any advice! 

    l will be making Nigella's Chocolate Christmas Cake (Christmas, p180) for Christmas and l was wondering whether if l make it earlier can it be frozen. And if that is possible how should l deal with it when l pull it out

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  • Granola Bars

    I love Andy's Fairfield Granola (Nigella Feasts, p199) and was wondering if these could be made into a bar so I can pack it into the kid's lunch boxes.. Thanks so much.

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  • Nut-free Christmas Cake

    For several years now I've made Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake and everyone's loved it. This year, my daughter - who loves fruit cake - was diagnosed with a nut allergy and the doctor's recommendation is total avoidance. It would therefore be a bit mean of me to make a Christmas cake containing nuts, ground almonds or even topped with marzipan ! Can you suggest a substitute for the ground almonds or a different, equally wonderful recipe please ?

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  • Ginger Bread Muffins - Treacle & Syrup

    Hi, This is Janet from India. I just wanted a clear explanation for the "treacle and syrup" mentioned in the Christmas Bites - Bonus recipe - Gingerbread Muffins. I tried looking for the recipe on the website but couldn't find the same. Firstly Is treacle what we refer to jaggery in India (in a melted form)? Secondly about the mention of 'syrup' is this 'honey' or 'golden syrup' or 'sugar syrup' ? Kindly help. Thanks & Regards Beena Janet.

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