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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

  • Boiled Fruit Cake

    There was a posted recipe for a simple boiled fruit cake on the web site before it changed format, it was a great recipe but I can't find it anymore. Do you have any suggestions on the recipe?

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  • Alcohol In Christmas Pudding

    I love the Ultimate Christmas Pudding recipe, however can I make it without the alcohol? We will have two pregnant ladies at lunch. If I can omit the alcohol, what would you recommend steeping the fruit in? And can the pudding then still be frozen as I'd like to cook it well ahead of time.

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  • Filling A Pudding Basin

    This year I am making a Christmas pudding for the first time, having picked up the torch from my dear Mum who passed away earlier this year. For Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding I was wondering how much pudding batter should be put in the basin or mould? Should there be some room left at the top of the pudding basin to allow for expansion of the pudding during cooking? Best Regards, Feargal. 

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  • Keeping Christmas Pudding

    Hi. I will be using the Ultimate Christmas Pudding recipe (with the Pedro Ximenez) for the first time this year and it states you can make the pudding up to six weeks before Christmas. Could it be made earlier? Thank you in anticipation, Eddie

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  • Non-Plastic Mould For Christmas Pudding

    Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding calls for a plastic pudding mold. If I use an aluminium pudding mould should I adjust anything about the recipe or the steaming, etc.?  

    Hi, I am making the Ultimate Christmas pudding, however I only have a metal tin - sadly they don't have plastic ones in Australia. Just wondering if this will affect the cooking time? I've never made one before. Thank you. Genmac32

    I would like to make Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding. I've never made a Christmas pud before and I could only source a 3 pint china bowl with no lid. As the bowl is made of china, would this increase or decrease the steaming times?  

    Hello Nigella Team, I'm excited to say the Ultimate Christamas Pudding will be my first pudding attempt so I am very excited. I will be boiling the pudding in a metal pudding basin as opposed to steaming in a plastic pudding basin. I understand the pudding will cook faster in a metal basin. Can you please provide some guidance on how long I should be boiling the pudding for in the first and second boil as I feel 5 and 3 hours could cause my first ever pudding to over cook. Thanks so much!

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  • Individual Christmas Puddings

    I very much like the sound of Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding. However I would like to make individual puddings, so can this pudding be divided into individual ones and if so what would be the cooking instructions? Many thanks. Sharon.

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  • Suet For Ultimate Christmas Pudding

    Does Nigella's recipe for Ultimate Christmas Pudding require real suet from the butcher or pre-packaged from the supermarket?

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  • Sherry For Ultimate Christmas Pudding

    I am in Cape Town South Africa and I can't get the Pedro Ximemez sherry. We don't have a big selection here so can I just use a local sherry? It's a rich, dark, sweet, full-bodied sherry - if that makes sense. Also we have vegetarions in our family so I want to use a vegetable suet instead of the normal beef/pork suet. Does it matter?

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