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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

  • Holiday Fir Cake Tin

    I have the Holiday Fir cake tin used in Nigella Christmas to make 'Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake' and would love suggestions for alternative cake recipes (including fruit) that would work well in this tin. Thanks!

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  • Shaped Fruit Cake

    Hello, I have made Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake for quite a few years now and everyone just loves it! I do make the same thing every year though so was going to try to make it a little different. I was planning to make it in a "holiday tree" bunt tin which, clearly, presents some challenges for decorating. I had wanted to do more than just a sprinkle of icing sugar and was thinking of pouring a thin (but complete) layer of chocolate over it. I'd thought that this should hopefully effectively seal the cake and help it to last at least a few weeks as well as enhancing the 'chocolatey-ness'. Do you have any experience of anyone doing this or any tips you could maybe offer? Many thanks!

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  • Christmas Plum Cake

    I am using Nigella's recipe for my Christmas Plum cake. How long can i store the cake? Do I need to keep it refrigerated?

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  • Flavourings for Christmas Baking

    Hi! For many years I have been using essence of maraschino and essence of ratafia in my Christmas baking, but now the bottles I have are empty and despite numerous attempts to find them in any supermarket or specialist shop, I am not having any luck. The empty bottles came from a defunct company called Langdale. Any ideas where I can get hold of them? Many thanks.

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  • Sealing Jars Of Christmas Chutney

    In Nigella's Christmas book she makes some chutneys and relishes for gifts and puts the hot mixture in a jar. She then says to "seal the jar". Do you mean just put the lid with the rubber ring on it and let it seal itself, or do you want us to to put it into a boiling water bath the way we do with pickles? I would think that would boil the flavour out of it, but just thought I should check. The chutneys sound wonderful. Thanks Rosemary

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  • Spiced Peaches as Christmas Gifts

    Can Nigella's Spiced Peaches be made in advance and stored for a period of time as a preserve? I was hoping to make some and give it as gifts. Thank you.

    Hi, I'm going to make the Spiced Peaches as gifts for my friends this Christmas. How long will the peaches last in the jar? Many thanks! Adam.   

    I made the spiced peaches for Christmas time last year, they were delicious. How far in advance can I make them please? EAGarlick.

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  • Chocolate Christmas Cake

    How long in advance can you make Nigella's Chocolate Christmas Cake and could you use an alternative to coffee liqueur? Many thanks.  

    I do not like coffee, does the Tia Maria in the Chocolate Fruit Cake come through strongly in the cake or could I use something else? Thanks, godzilla. 

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  • Timings for Ultimate Christmas Pudding

    The recipe says to steam for 5 hours when making and 3 hours on Christmas Day. Can the timings be altered to say 7 hours when making and 1 hour on Christmas Day as this would be the preferred option. Thank you.

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