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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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  • Hokey Pokey

    Hi, I have made the Hokey Pokey 4 times now following the recipe and instructions and every time its too sticky and chewy, not crunchy at all. Please can you tell me where I am going wrong? Thank you so much.  

    I have tried, on 3 different occasions, to make some Hokey Pokey (Nigella Express). Every time I try, it just comes out super flat and very sticky, like unwieldy taffy. Sigh. Any ideas?

    From the nigella team:

    If the Hokey Pokey is sticky then the most likely reasin is that the sugar and syrup mixture has not boile quite enough. Unfortunately the size (diameter) of the saucepan can affect the exact boiling time of the candy. As suagr boils it goes through various stages and to make hokey pokey you need to get to what is known as "hard crack" stage. If you have a sugar thermometer handy then the hard crack stage is 150-154c/300-310F. Otherwise watch for the sugar mixture darkening a couple of shades and a couple of wisps of smoke. If the edges of the syrup mixture are darkening very quickly then swirl the pan once or twice but do not stir it.

    Once the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) has been added don't stir too much as this will knock some of the air bubbles out of the mixture. Leave the candy to set in a cool, dry place. Unfortunately if you are in a humid enviroment then you may find that the Hokey Pokey is always sticky as it will attract moisture from the air around it.

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