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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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  • Freezing Chocolate Guinness Cake

    I made and iced Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake and now unfortunately the children are poorly (not from the cake!). It's too lovely to waste or give away so I'd like to know if I can freeze it? 

    From the nigella team:

    We would usually recommend to freeze cakes without any icing on. This is partly practical as un-iced cakes can be tightly wrapped and stacked and so do not take up too much room in the freezer. Also when the cake thaws sometines the icing can go a little runny and make the cake a bit soggy.

    Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (from Feast) has an icing made from cream cheese, icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) and cream. This icing could become a little runny once it has thawed. Rather than waste the cake then you could freeze it but you would need to firstly "open freeze" it. This involves putting the cake on a baking sheet (or suitable freezer-proof plate) that has been lined with baking parchment (parchment paper) and then freezing it without any wrapping on. Once the cake and icing are solid the cake can be removed from the baking sheet, wrapped carefully in a double layer of clingfilm (plastic wrap) and a double layer of foil and returned to the freezer. As it is difficult to wrap the cake tightly enough to protect it sufficiently from the dry, cold air we would suggest that the cake is frozen for 2-3 weeks. Unwrap the cake and let it thaw at room temperature for 3-4 hours.

    The other alternative would be to scrape off as much of the icing as possible from the top and then freeze the cake, tightly wrapped in a double layer of clingfilm and a double layer of foil. Freeze the icing separately in an airtight container. This way if the icing is too runny at least the cake won't be affected.

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