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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 Pear Pudding

    Last night I made this pudding and followed the recipe and also the YouTube clip. However the food processor just couldn't process the mixture as it was so stiff. I ended up having to add a bit of water to enable it to be processed into a consistency that was able to be spread over the pears. Is there something I am missing? Otherwise it was a lovely pudding. I also used normal butter - should it have been unsalted? Many thanks, Sandra

    From the nigella team:

    The Chocolate Pear Pudding (from Nigella Express) does have a slightly thick cake batter as the drained canned pears can still let out a little juice as they cook and this will seep into the cake batter. If you followed the recipe from the book or website then the measurements are correct and the cake batter should be thick and processable.

    If the batter was too stiff it could be that the butter was too cold. It should be soft butter, not just room temperature. If you let the batter stand in a warm place for about 15 minutes then yiou may find that it becomes softer and looser. In the TV clip Nigella suggests unsalted butter, though if you used salted butter this would not matter and the texture of the cake batter would be unaffected. The eggs should be large. Cocoa powder does absorb a fair amount of liquid and your brand of cocoa powder could have been quite absorbent, though we feel this is a less likely reason.

    If the batter is still too stiff then you can add a little milk, or even some of the juice from the can of pears, just to loosen it a little. Bear in mind however that the batter shouid remain on the thick side.

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