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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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Latest Queries

  • Clementine Cake Ingredients

    Hi there, I want to make the Clementine Cake for a gluten intolerant friend, but I don't want to have any left over and there are only 4 of us this weekend. Is it possible to scale down the cake? Thanks.  

    I have quite a lot of extra clementines and want to puree and freeze them for future use in the Clementine Cake. Is this OK? Many thanks. KBunting.  

    Hello! I just made the Clementine Cake for the first time, and I'm in love! I ground up my own almonds, and I loved the result. But I'm also wondering if purchased almond meal could be used as well. If that is a poor substitute, I will continue to grind them up myself. Just wanted to know. Thanks so much!

    From the nigella team:

    Unfortunately scaling down cakes is quite a tricky process and as we have not tried a scaled down version of the cake we are sorry but we are unable to advise on a smaller size of this particular cake. However leftovers could be frozen, tightly wrapped in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil (or it the piece is not that big you may be able to use a resealable plastic bag instead of the foil). It can be kept frozen for up to a month and can be thawed, unwrapped, for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Alternatively you could use the cake in a trifle, such as Nigella's Orange and Blackberry Trifle (from Kitchen).   

    It should be possible to cook and puree the clementines and then freeze the puree to use in the Clementine Cake at a later stage. It is probably best to freeze the puree in airtight containers in appropriate (single-cake) portions and the puree should freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the puree overnight in the fridge before using and we woud suggest that the puree is brought to room temperature before making the cake. If the puree looks a little separated or watery you may find it helpful to whizz it again in a food preocessor or with a blender before using.

    Using home-made almond meal (ground almonds) is great but store-bought almond meal would work just as well. From a visual point of view you may prefer to buy the almond meal made from skinned almonds (usually available in cake decorating stores). The almond meal sold in many US supermarkets and natural food stores is often made from unskinned almonds. This type of almond meal will work fine but you may just see some small brown flecks in the cake.

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