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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

  • Easy Almond Cake

    Hello, I made the Easy Almond Cake from How To Be A Domestic Goddess (p6) yesterday and when I checked the cake after forty minutes (at gas mark 3/170c) it was still pale and completely wobbly. I left it for another 20 minutes and it was still the same, so I put the temperature up to gas mark 5/190c and after another 20 or so minutes it was cooked. Is it definitely correct that 50 minutes at gas mark 3 should cook this cake? Thanks, Emily

    From the nigella team:

    The oven temperature for the Easy Almond Cake of 170c/gas mark 3/325F is correct and is not exceptionally low for a cake. Most large cakes are baked at gas mark 3 to 4 / 170 to 180c / 325 to 350F as at temperatures above this the outside edges can start to cook too quickly, leaving the outside overcooked and the inside undercooked.

    The timings in the book are for a tube pan or ring mould and these will tend to cook more quickly than a regular cake pans as the hot air from the oven can circulate through the gap in the centre as well as the outside edges. Also all ovens vary so it may be worth checking your oven temperature with an oven thermometer to see if it is running slightly cool. Oven thermometers can be bought in some department stores and cookware shops and are fairly inexpensive. 

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