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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

  • Maderia CakeTins

    Can I use Nigella's Madiera Cake recipe for a birthday cake? How far in advance can I make this cake? Can I cover it with fondant and how do i store it? Thank you.   

    The loaf tin specified for the Madeira Cake in the Domestic Goddess book is a 450g tin, which is a 1lb loaf tin. Is this the right size tin for this recipe as when I baked it sometime ago it didn't seem to cook, and there seemed too much mixture for the tin. I would love to make it again but have been put off because of this issue. Could someone please clear this problem up for me. Thanks, Neale.

    From the nigella team:

    Madiera cake is a popular cake for birthday cakes and particularly for carved novelty cakes as its close texture cuts well. It will also keep for slightly longer than a standard sponge cake. We have not tested the cake in a round tin so can only give rough gudelines, however the 3-egg quantity of cake batter should be enough to fill an 18cm/7-inch springform pan, or a 20cm/8-inch springform pan for a thinner cake. The pan should still be greased and the base lined with baking parchment (parchment paper). The baking time should be slightly less and we would suggest that you start checking the cake after 45 minutes baking time. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.

    The cake should keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can cover the cake with fondant icing (also known as rolled fondant or ready to roll icing) though we would suggest doing this the night before the cake is needed. Fondant icing tends to show up the bumps in a cake so you may want to level the top of the cake with a knife and then flip the cake over so that the top becomes the bottom and you have a smoother surface. You will need to brush the surface of the cake with a little warmed jam so that the fondant sticks more easily. 

    For loaf tins the dimensions of the tin and the size in pounds does vary a lot and we are sorry for any confusion this may have caused. In later editions of Domestic Goddess the pan measuremants were given instead and should be about 23 x 13 x 7cm (9 x 6 1/2 x 3 inches). The tin should also be buttered and lined with baking parchment.

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