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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

  • Icing For Chocolate Christmas Cake

    Hello, Is it possible to marzipan, and then use royal icing on the chocolate fruit cake, as one would a traditional christmas cake? If so, how far in advance could this be done? Many thanks, Katie

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's ever-popular Chocolate Christmas Cake is still a fruit cake and could be marzipanned and iced in the traditional way. However we would mention that this cake does tend to sink slightly in the centre, much more so than a traditional fruit cake, which makes it more difficult to ice neatly.

    If you do want to ice this cake then you would first need to try and use a serrated knife to level the top of the cake. We would suggest a smaller serrated knife, such as a fruit knife, rather than a larger bread knife as a bread knife could drag on the cake too much. Then flip the cake over so that the base becomes the top and provides a nice flat top surface.

    If the surface (the bottom, now top) and the sides of the cake have a pitted appearance then you can plug any holes with small balls of marzipan before applying the marzipan layer. Let the marzipan dry for 24 hours before adding any icing.

    You can marzipan and ice the cake up to 2 weeks in advance of eating. If the cake has been frozen then let it thaw completely and come up to room temperature before adding the marzipan.

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