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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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  • Chocolate Fruit Cake

    Dear Nigella team, I am thinking of making Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake from Christmas, but is their any subsitue for the ground almonds or should I just use extra flour? My sister is allergic to nuts. Thanks, Jack.

    From the nigella team:

    Unfortunately substituting flour for ground almonds doesn't often work in cake recipes. Ground almonds, like many nuts, have a high oil content and this adds moisture to the cake. Using all flour will mean that the cake could be quite dry and certainly won't keep as well. Additionally, ground almonds don't contain gluten whereas flour does, so adding extra flour could affect the texture of the cake, making it tougher.

    Sunflower seeds are becoming popular in butter form as a substitute for peanut butter and you could possibly look at grinding sunflower seeds to use as an alternative, though the flavour of sunflower seeds is stronger and less sweet than almonds. However we have not tried this option so certainly cannot guarantee any results.

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