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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

  • How To Butter And Line A Cake Pan

    I am making Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake and am not sure how I both line and butter the springform pan? Do I line just the bottom with parchment paper and butter the sides? Or do I line the whole pan and then butter? I have searched through the website but can't seem to find the steps for buttering and lining a springform pan. Thank you!

    From the nigella team:

    For a sponge cake in a springform pan and also for a sponge cake in a regular cake pan you need to butter the tin on the base and sides and then line the base only with a piece of baking parchment (parchment paper) or greaseproof paper. Baking parchment should not need greasing once it is in the pan, though some people like to grease it as well. Greaseproof paper should be greased once it is in the base of the pan.

    Melted butter is the best greasing agent. Brush the melted butter evenly on the base and edges of the pan using a pastry brush. You can also dust the inside of the pan with a little flour to help the cake release more easily, usually if this is required it will be stated in the recipe. Once the pan has been greased and lined, add a tablespoonful of flour and shake it around the pan so that it sticks to the greased surfaces of the pan. Tip out and discard any excess flour. For chocolate cakes use cocoa powder instead of flour.

    You can also use a flavourless vegetable oil if you don't have butter to hand or are making a dairy-free cake. There are also non-stick baking sprays availble which are quite effective.

    For rich fruit cakes you will usually line both the base and sides of the cake pan with a double thickness of baking parchment. For insructions on how to do this please see Nigella Christmas p173.

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