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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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  • Black Cake

    In Nigella's Black Cake recipe (P250, Domestic Goddess) it calls for 1/2 bottle each of Madeira & Rum. How large is the bottle? Where I live there are various sizes, especially for rum. Do you mean 750ml bottle for each? It seems like a lot of liquid.

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Black Cake is a version of a traditional Jamaican rich fruit cake that is usually served at Christmas. The fruit is soaked in alcohol and can be left to soak for 6 months (or even longer), so this stage of preparation can be done in the summer. 

    Madiera is a type of fortified wine and is usually sold in 750ml (75cl) bottles. This means that you will need 375ml (1 1/2 cups) of madiera. Rum is most commonly sold in 700ml (70cl) bottles so this means that you will need 350ml (scant 1 1/2 cups) of rum. Although it seems like a lot of liquid, the fruit will absorb the liquid and become soft and sticky.

    Please note that there was an omission in the recipe in early editions of Domestic Goddess. The ingredients list for the cake should state the marinated fruit mixture, so son't forget to use it when mixing the cake.

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