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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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  • Caramel Butterscotch Cake

    I have been making this cake for years and it is lovely but suddenly the topping is not going quiet right. I have looked for the correct recipe on your web site but cant find it! I have the recipe hand written from a friend's book, I think it is from Domestic Goddess. Can you help? Thanks, Jenny

    From the nigella team:

    We believe the cake you are referring to is the Butterscotch Layer Cake which appears on p20 of Domestic Goddess. The frosting is made from a caramel sauce which is mixed into cream cheese. As there is no description of your exact problem with the frosting it is difficult to tell what the problem may be but we suspect it is with the caramel sauce.

    The caramel sauce is made from 300g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar (superfine sugar) and 125ml (1/2 cup) cold water. The water and sugar should be combined in a medium-sized heavy based saucepan and heated gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once the sugar syrup in the pan is clear and no crystals of sugar remain you need to bring the syrup to a strong boil and boil until the sugar turns a dark amber colour - it may smoke slightly and this process can take 8-15 minutes, depending on the size of your pan. It needs to be fairly dark as caramel should have a slightly bittter, smoky note to temper the sweetness of the sugar. You can swirl the pan a couple of times if the sugar is colouring unevenly, but do not stir. Once the caramel has reached the correct colour take it off the heat and add 250ml (1 cup) double cream (heavy cream). Do this carefully as the caramel will bubble up when you add the cream, you may like to cover your hand with an oven mitt for some protection. Whisk the cream and caramel together then put the saucepan back over a low heat and whisk until any lumps of caramel have dissolved. Cool and chill the sauce, it should thicken as it chills. You then whisk 250mls (1 cup) of the chilled sauce into 400g (14 ounces) cream cheese, using any left over to drizzle over the finished cake.

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