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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.

Latest Queries

  • Last Minute Christmas Pudding Queries

    Hi, I made the pudding in a slightly too large Pyrex bowl with its own lid and wrapped it in paper and foil and string. I followed the instructions and after the 5 hour cooking time removed the pudding and its lids and left to cool. When it was nearly cool I replaced the lid, added a parchment circle of paper on the pudding and resealed. Is this ok? Thanks MC  

    Hello! I live in California, USA, and here we can't find pudding steamers off the shelf easily. I would also like to give Christmas Pudding to my friends and family this year, but can't afford so many ceramic bowls. I'd like to steam my puddings in Rubbermaid containers, which have rubber linings around their lids, but am unsure about it. They seem to be the equivalent of your plastic pudding steamers in England. They are made for the microwave and are dishwasher safe, so I'd like to think they could work with steaming. Any thoughts? Thank you! 

    Hi, I've just come across the Ultimate Christmas Pudding recipe and all the comments sound amazing. It does say make up to 6 weeks in advance, but will I still have the same result or is there anything I should do differently, if I am only making it 3 weeks in advance? Thanks!

    From the nigella team:

    If you have replaced the circle of parchment paper on top of the pudding and re-sealed the bowl the pudding should be fine, even if the pudding wasn't quite fully cooled. For bowls that don't have a lid we recommend replacing the parchment circle and re-wrapping the pudding in clingfilm (Plastic wrap) and foil when cool. As for all puddings, it should be stored in a cool, dry place until Christmas Day.

    For the US our preference would be to use Pyrex mixing bowls for steaming Christmas puddings. You should put a circle of parchment paper on top of the pudding batter and then overwrap the bowl tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap and a double layer of foil. After the first steaming let the pudding cool then unwrap it, replace the parchment paper circle and re-wrap the pudding with fresh plastic wrap and foil so that it is ready for its second steaming on Christmas Day. We are not completely sure that the rubber seals you describe would be able to stand the heat of a steamer, which will be arpound 100c/121F. A dishwasher tends to heat to around 65c/150c and in the microwave the seals may not get that hot.

    It is not too late to make a Christmas Pudding. Whilst the pudding will benefit from a 6 week "maturing" period, you can still make the pudding right up until Christmas Eve.

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