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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

  • Easy Action Christmas Cake

    I love the Easy Action Christmas Cake yet my family hates chestnuts. Could you please suggest a substitute for me, as I presume it has to be quite liquid to replace the chestnut puree. I had thought of using dates or apricot jam but how do I make it into a paste without adding to much sweetness? Thanking you in advance, Steph  

    Hi. I made loads of mincemeat with suet last year for my mince pies. I have seen recipes for Christmas cakes made using mincemeat but they never say whether it's mincemeat made with suet or suet-free mincemeat. So, can I make a Christmas cake with my suet mincemeat? Many thanks, jobo123.

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  • Nigella's Kitchen Items

    Hello Nigella Team, I would really like to make Nigella's Gurdlebuster Pie this Christmas, and have been trolling the internet trying to find a pie dish as beautiful as the red one Nigella uses. Please could you tell me where I can buy it, or maybe something similar?  

    Hi there I've recently been watching re-runs of Nigella's programmes in Italy and am trying to find out what make the black bowls are that she uses in them. One of the recipes was a South Indian veggie curry another was an egg and bacon salad. The bowls are black and very uneven looking. I would very much appreciate any information you could give me about them Thank you, zobo31

    Hello There, I was wondering where I could purchase the teacup shaped glass bowl and saucer from Nigella's Forever Summer series. They were wonderful, but I can't seem to find them online. Many thanks, Dawn

    Dear Nigella team. Where can I find the glass mugs with candy canes, which can be found in the book "Nigella's Christmas" Regards Armani1502

    Hi there! I love the salt pig that Nigella uses on Nigellissima and I actually was successful in finding and purchasing one for myself! However, I have not been successful in finding the small wooden spoon that she usually has in the container. Where would I be able to find this? Thanks a bunch! nt121390. 

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  • Christmas Mince Pies

    Hi Nigella team, I am about to make Nigella's Star Mince Pies with the Rhubarb Vanilla Mincemeat from her book Feast! I am planning to use puff pastry and to freeze them in readiness for Christmas. My query is, do I cook them first then freeze or do I freeze them once prepared ready to cook when I need them. I also intend to make the short crust pastry in Nigella's recipe but wanted to hear your culninary thoughts on my idea? Margaret

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  • Crumbly Christmas Chocolate Biscuits

    Hello, Recently I baked the Christmas Chocolate Biscuits, following the recipe carefully. But the biscuits turned out really crumbly. I cooled them on a wire rack as suggested in the recipe. But they were crumbling when I was lifting them from the wire rack after pouring the chocolate topping and the sprinkles. Also can you let me know the shelf life of these biscuits and how can I make them last longer?

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  • Snow Flecked Brownies As Muffins?

    I've cooked Nigella's Snow-Flecked Brownies many many times to the delight of my large family. I struggle with the right vessel to use though and if the middle is perfectly squidgy, then the brownies at the edge are overcooked. I'd like to try cupcakes or muffins for my nieces birthday party, do you think this will work ok? If so could you advise me how long to cook at what temperature. The ingredients are very precious and expensive so I don't want to ruin the batch (although I'm sure I'd scoff them myself anyway...) Many thanks.

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  • Making And Storing Star Topped Mince Pies

    Hi, I am wondering how long the Star Topped Mince Pies keep for or if they can be frozen? Thanks.

    Hi there, I was thinking about putting the Star Topped Mince Pies in my Christmas hampers. Do you know how far in advance I could make these? Would love to be able to freeze the pastry and then make them up a week before Xmas or something. Mincemeat can be made up to 2 weeks of says. Any advice please. Many thanks x  

    I want to make the star topped mince pies. Could you recommend where to buy the tartlet tins from? I am struggling to find some the right size. Thank you. Katie.

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  • Chocolate Christmas Sponge Pudding

    Hi there, I have recently moved to NYC from the UK and can't find double cream here. I want to make the steamed chocolate pudding for Christmas. Can I use heavy cream in the sauce without dire consequence? Or do you have a different sauce recipe please? Thank you, Alison.

     I'd like to steam my Chocolate Pudding For Christmas Pudding Haters in the slow cooker, as I have done with traditional puddings. Is this possible, and if so how long would I allow? I have limited cooker space! Thank you! Caroline

    I would like to make Nigella's Steamed Chocolate Pudding for Boxing Day contribution when we go to friends for a big celebration that day. I'm going to be mega busy that day and also for ease of transportation it would be great if I could make it in advance. Is this possible, will it keep ok? Also I was thinking of chucking a few cherries for added interest, would I have to alter the recipe at all to allow for them?  

    Is it ok to use a metal steamer in place of a plastic one please? Wickster.

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  • Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding Queries

    Made the Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding, so fab and easy. Unfortunately I discovered my children HATE dates. They even found the tiniest pieces and pulled them out. I was gutted. Can this pudding be made by leaving out the dates?

    I am thinking about cooking the Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding for Christmas lunch as an alternative for Christmas pudding. I'd like to make in advance and freeze, is this okay? At what point should it be frozen, before or after cooking? Any advice welcomed, thanks! Jane

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