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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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  • Forgotten Pudding Weeping

    Hi I've attempted the Forgotten Pudding recipe and followed recipe to the letter re switching oven off and not peeking etc. But I've had a look at it this morning and it is still glossy white and marshmallowy, and has come away from the edges of the baking tin, but it does seem to be sitting in a pool of clear fluid. Any advice or tips on where this might have gone wrong, or how I might avoid this in future, as this is my kind of stress free pudding preperation! thanks

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Forgotten Pudding (from Nigella Express and on the Nigella website) is a meringue mixture that is started on a very hot oven that is then switched off and the meringue cooks as the oven slowly cools. From the description of the meringue - pulling away from the sides of the baking pan and weeping on the base - we suspect that the Forgotten Pudding is undercooked. This is a common problem for the meringue topping of lemon meringue pies. If there is no crust on the bottom of the meringue then it is very likely undercooked.

    Firstly we would suggest that you make sure that the oven is fully preheated before you make the meringue. The oven is very hot (220c/450F/Gas mk 7) and some ovens can take a while to get up to this temperature. Some people also find that adding cornflour (cornstarch) to the meringue can help to absorb some of the excess liquid. For this recipe you could try adding 1 (15ml) tablespoon cornflour and add it after the cream of tartar.

    Finally we understand that some new fan ovens tend to cool down very quickly (sometimes the fan runs for a while after the oven is switched off to speed up the oven cooling) and if your oven is this type then it may be cooling down too quickly for the meringue to cook properly. If this is the case then try to use a conventional setting on the oven. If this doesn't exist then you could try turning the oven down to a very low setting for several hours but would require much more regular monitoring of the pudding during the cooking time.

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