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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

  • Nigella's Decadent Desserts

    It is a friend's 50th birthday party and we need a inexpensive decadent dessert for 50 people. Perhaps something that can be prepared before time and then served at the appropriate time. Something really special, something in the style that Nigella would love to finish off late at night? Many thanks, Rose.

    From the nigella team:

    Unfortunately we don't have any information on your ability to store a dessert in the fridge or freezer, which will affect the choices, but Nigella has a vast array of desserts and many recipes are available on this website. You will need to make each dessert in batches, to give sufficient portions.

    If you don't have lots of refrigeration facilities then bite-size squares of brownies are always popular. Nigella's Everyday Brownies recipe (from Kitchen, p216) are inexpensive to make as they don't have melted chocolate in the batter, only nuggets of chopped chocolate added just before baking. You could also use a mixture of chopped nuts and chopped chocolate if you prefer. You could serve these alone, with squares of Blondies (also in Kitchen, p313) or with a chocolate sauce - try the Hot Chocolate sauce from Nigella Express (p51) or from Nigellissima (p69) - plus cream or ice cream. The brownies can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container. We would suggest putting a piece of baking parchment between each layer of brownies if you are stacking them in the container.

    If you have freezing facilities then we would recommend the One-Step No Churn Coffee Ice Cream from Nigellissima, as it is easy to make and the combination of cream and condensed milk makes it fairly economical. You can use any coffee flavoured liqueur that you have to hand and failing this rum would be a good alternative or you can omit the alcohol altogether. Again this would be great with one of the chocolate sauces. We would suggest allowing for 6 portions per batch of ice cream. The ice cream can be made a week in advance and the sauces can bemade a day ahead, kept in the fridge and gently warmed before using.

    If you have plenty of refrigeration space then Nigella's Tiramisu Layer Cake (from Christmas, p93) looks impressive and is suitably celebrationary. The ingredients are a little more luxurious but the cake is very rich so only small portions would be needed. You would need to try and borrow some 23cm/9-inch springform pans or it is worth seeing if any local cake decorating or kitchen equipment shops rent out cake pans. We would suggest allowing 12-16 portions per cake, depending on the appetites of your guests. The cake can be made 2-3 days ahead and kept in the fridge until needed. 

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