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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

  • Salted Chocolate Tart Filling

    I have made the salted Chocolate Tart and the filling mixture doesn't seem to have thickened enough, even though I stirred it over low heat for 15 mins. when I put it in the jug, it is around 800 ml. It does coat back of spoon but is definitely thinner than I would expect. Should I reheat it or will it thicken.?

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  • Ricotta Hotcakes

    Is it possible to bake Nigella's hotcakes in the oven? I would be using a cast iron frypan. If it can, what oven temperature would you recommend?

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  • Cocoa Powder In Olive Oil Chocolate cake

    Hi there, I recently ran out of my usual cocoa powder (Dutch processed) and went out to buy an emergency box of cocoa powder without checking that the one I bought was all natural. The result was a flavour I didn't like. When I  investigated this, I also found out that theere are two types of cocoa powder and they react differently with baking soda/powder. Given that your recipe calls for baking soda, should I assume that the cocoa used in it is natural cocoa? And given I've been using Dutch processed cocoa all along, is this why my cake doesn't rise beautifully? How do I play with the baking soda/powder in the recipe to manage each type of cocoa? Excitedly looking forward to hearing from you, Ramya

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  • Sugar In Clementine Cake

    Nigella's Clementine Cake recipe calls for "white sugar". Does she mean granulated sugar or caster sugar? I am coming to this from a UK perspective.

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  • Cut Of Beef For Asian Ribs

    I have had a problem with the Asian-Flavoured Short Ribs recipe in 'Simply Nigella. I live in France and sourced 'short ribs' as 'plat de cotes'. This cut is what is most often used in France to make a pot au feu. A problem though came when the butcher refused to cut the ribs to the smaller size required by the recipe. He said it was too dangerous to cut on his machine - and I could see his point when I looked at the cutting machine - so the pieces were maybe twice the size mentioned in the recipe. The recipe called for 4 - 4 and a half hours at 150C, but at the end of the cooking time, the meat on the ribs was not cooked. So I gave them a further four hours at the end of which the meat was cooked, but not all the fat had dissolved into the sauce. So, in future, I think I will cook this recipe in the slow cooker overnight rather than in the oven. What I want to know is whether the problem I experienced is because I may have purchased the wrong ribs, or is it the timings in the recipe that need to be flexible?

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  • Glitzy Chocolate Puddings

    I hadthe Glitzy Chocolate Puddings in the oven for 25 mins as per the recipe ,but it turned to a cake instead of having a chocolate sauce inside. Why is that? I tried one at 15mins it seem better but the inside edges around the ramekin had started to cook to a cake.

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  • Vermouth Substitute

    I want to try Nigella's Tarragon Salmon recipe but don't want to use alcohol. Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for vermouth? I notice also that Nigella uses vermouth in many of her recipes and wondered if I could leave it out altogether or increase the stock element. Many thanks.

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  • Chocolate Pudding For Christmas Pudding Haters

    I tried the steamed chocolate pudding for Christmas and while it tasted absolutely divine, it didn't hold together at all (was a really fluffy sort of pudding and I thought it would be dense). Did I do something wrong? Would have liked to serve it like the photo but just had to scoop it straight into bowls as it collapsed.

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