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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.

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  • Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake

    I make the Chocolate Fudge Cake from the Nigella Bites book very regulary. It is very popular with my friends and family. I need to make a gluten free cake for a christening and I would like to know if it would work if I substitute the flour for ground almonds? Many thanks.

    From the nigella team:

    Ground almonds (almond meal or almond flour) are a popular ingredient in gluten free cakes but when you are looking at substitutes for flour in regular cakes you have to remember that the gluten in flour will be one of the things that makes the sponge hold together and also that ground almonds contain oil, which flour does not. So switching flour for ground almonds can result in a cake which is crumbly and greasy.

    The good news is that special gluten free flour blends are now fairly readily available in many major supermarkets. In the UK we suggest that you look for Dove's Farm gluten free flours and they have a plain flour substitute in their range. In the US Bob's Red Mill have a gluten free baking mix (we suggest if possibe that you weigh the ingredients as the cup measures for all-purpose flour and gluten free flours do differ slightly).

    Dove's Farm suggest that you may need to add a little extra liquid (water or milk) to the recipe and they usually have guidelines on their packaging and website. As the cake is for a special occasion we strongly suggest that you have a trial run of the cake with gluten free flour. Sometimes also people like to add xanthan gum to gluten free cake mixtures as this can help the cake to hold together more. Dove's Farm suggest 1 teaspoon xanthan gum per 200g gluten free flour.

    Nigella also has a few gluten free/flourless chocolate cake recipes that can be found on this website. Many of them use ground almonds so you may need to check with other guests to make sure no-one has a nut allergy.

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