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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

  • When To Make Ultimate Christmas Pudding

    How far out from Christmas Day should the Ultimate Christmas Pudding be made? Will it benefit from age like the old pudding hanging in calico in the pantry for months?  

    Can someone tell me how far before Christmas this can be made? Does it benefit from being left for a few weeks? Luckstar.

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  • Sherry In Ultimate Christmas Pudding

    Can't wait to make the delicious sounding Ultimate Christmas Pudding. I have a bottle of Winters Tale Amontillado Sherry and a bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry and I'm wondering which sherry would be best to use in the recipe as I can't get PX Sherry locally here where I live in Co. Kildare. Your advice much appreciated.

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  • Parmesan Shortbread As Gifts

    I was planning to make the Parmesan Shortbreads and give them as gifts at Christmas with a homemade chutney. Will they really only last five days in an airtight container? Is there any way to make them last a bit longer. I know they will be eaten as soon as they are open but I don't want to be making them at the last minute.

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  • Fig And Olive Chutney

    Can I replace the Marsala wine with port in the Fig And Olive Chutney recipe? I have all the other ingredients and we don't use Marsala in anything else so would port suffice? Thanks.

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  • Salted Chocolate Tart

    The Salted Chocolate Tart recipe is to die for! The combination of salt and chocolate is lovely. My family loved it. However, I failed to find a loose bottomed 23 cm tin that is 2 inches deep. I have one but its shallower, so there is too much base left over. 

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  • Traditional Christmas Cake

    Hello, I am planning to make Traditional Christmas Cake from Nigella Christmas. The book suggests that I can make the cake 6 weeks ahead. Is it okay if I start earlier, maybe mid of October. Also, at what frequency shall I feed my cake. I live in a tropical climate - Western India. The current temperature here is 28C with a 54% humidity. Will alcohol feeding be enough to keep my cake fresh in this climate, or, I should take some extra measures, as well? Thank you, Neha.  

    Hi there. Have just made several small Christmas cakes from Nigella's Traditional Christmas Cake recipe - the one that boils the fruit in bourbon and soaks overnight. With so much alcohol and fruit I'm surprised to see it says it keeps for 6 weeks in a tin but it can be frozen. Do I need to freeze it to keep it fresh until Christmas? Will it last in a tin, unfrozen, for more than 6 weeks? Never frozen a rich fruit cake before but this one doesn't look as dark as ones I usually make so wondering how to store!!! Thanks!

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  • Spruced Up Vanilla Cake

    I've made the Spruce Up Vanilla Cake successfully twice. Only I have a small problem - I used a fine silicone spray for the tin and this helped the cake turn out of the tin easily, but when I dusted it with the icing sugar it very quickly disappeared into the cake surface hence proud moment turned into dismay! I had to keep dusting it just before presentation to guests. It wasn't so bad using a light spray but more difficult to turn out. The recipe does say to butter the mould - would this really solve the problem?

    Hello, I made the Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake for my Mum's birthday but it was inedible. The cake skewer came out clean and it was a good colour on the outside but when I cut into it, it was solid. I checked the recipe and saw that there was bicarb in the ingredients but not in the method. I hadn't included it in the cake as I followed the method to the letter. Is that an error in the book? Should it have gone in the cake? 

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  • Apricot Almond Cake

    Hi, Could you please advise on which brand of polenta to use for the Apricot Almond Cake with Rosewater and Cardamom? I have never cooked/baked with polenta so not sure which one to use that is 'fine polenta' and not 'instant polenta' as per the recipe. Can't wait to bake this recipe!! Thank you. Ale

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