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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

  • Molten Chocolate Babycakes

    I made the Molten Chocolate Babycakes (Domestic Goddess, p179) last night but they did not set. I put them in the fridge before dinner because I had guests and did not want to have to put them together after the main course. There was nothing wrong with the taste, but when I popped them out of the ramekins in which I baked them they kind of collapsed and looked more like a dark, guey chocolate mousse. I would like for them to bake into little cakes like in the picture and when you put your spoon in the filling oozes out. Please help me??

    From the nigella team:

    Unfortunately with all Molten Babycake or chocolate fondant type recipes the timings can be a little tricky as all ovens vary slightly. The trick with these cakes is to get the outside set but leave the inside still slightly soft. It may help next time to bake the cakes on a shelf slightly above the centre of the oven next time, as the oven will be slightyl hotter on higher shelves.

    Also we note that you mention using ramekins. The original recipe used small metal pudding moulds. As these are made of metal they heat up very quickly, helping the outside of the cakes to set. Unfortunately as ramekins tend to be made of china they will heat up more slowly and this means that the cakes will take slightly longer to cook. You need to look for the cakes to be firm on top and although the recipe suggests 10 to 12 minutes baking, you may find in ramekins that the upper end of this baking time needs to be increased to 15 minutes. It may also help to preheat the oven to 225c/425F and turn it down to 200c/400F as soon as the cakes go into the oven. If you do this then start checking the cakes after 10 minutes as the extra heat at the beginning should boost the heating of the ramekins.

    If it is at all possible then we would suggest making a test batch and baking them for varying amounts of time to see what timing particularly suits your oven and equipment.

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