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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

  • Union Square Cafe Nuts For Christmas

    The Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts are one of my fave things to have this time of year. I am thinking of making them to go into gift baskets for Christmas presents. How long will they last in a sealed jar?

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  • Icing For Chocolate Christmas Cake

    Hello, Is it possible to marzipan, and then use royal icing on the chocolate fruit cake, as one would a traditional christmas cake? If so, how far in advance could this be done? Many thanks, Katie

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  • How Long To Defrost A Turkey

    For the last few years I have cooked Nigella's Christmas turkey soaked in brine recipe from the Christmas book with great success. Last year, just after Christmas, I bought a (vastly reduced in price) Norfolk Black free range turkey and froze it. It weighs 6kg. I have not got round to using it and wonder if you think it would have enough flavour to use this Christmas? Also how long would I need to defrost it for prior to soaking? Thanks!  

    I'd like to use a frozen turkey for the Nigella's Spiced and Superjuicy Roast Turkey. Do I have to defrost the turkey fully before soaking it in the brine or could it defrost slowly whilst marinating? Thanks, Nicky.

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  • Girdle Buster Pie

    I would like to make Nigella's Girdle Buster Pie for Christmas. Could I use maple syrup instead of golden syrup?

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  • 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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