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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

  • Christmas Preparation - Cake and Puddings

    Hi I have had the pleasure of using Nigella's Christmas book, for my cake, for the last three years. Now i have a problem. I have been asked to make smaller cakes, 3 inches, to be precise, as gifts. So I have small tins but no idea about proportions for ingredients. The cakes in the book are 7, 9 and 10 inches. Is there an easy way to calculate ingredients for 3 and 6 inch cakes? Kind regards and fantastic book by the way! Al.

    Is it too early to make Christmas Puddings in September? Stephamb.

    From the nigella team:

    Scaling cakes is quite a tricky business and as we don't usually test alternative cake sizes to those given in the books it is difficult to give scaled recipes. However, it is worth mentioning that if you have a 3-inch cake pan and a 6-inch pan then you could probably make up cake batter for a 9-inch cake (from the table in Christmas on p172) and make either one 6-inch cake and one 3-inch cake, or three 3-inch cakes. either use a cup measure or weigh the batter into the pans to make sure that it is divided in the correct proportions. For baking time we would suggest testing the 3-inch cakes after around 50 minutes and the 6-inch cakes after about 1 1/4 hours. Keep checking the cakes every 10 minutes after this until the cakes are done - a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.

    Whilst some people will make Christmas Puddings up to a year ahead, traditionally puddings are made on Stir Up Sunday, the Sunday before advent starts. This means the pudding is made about 5 weeks before Christmas. Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding can be made around 6 weeks ahead.

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