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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

  • Non-Plastic Mould For Christmas Pudding

    Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding calls for a plastic pudding mold. If I use an aluminium pudding mould should I adjust anything about the recipe or the steaming, etc.?  

    Hi, I am making the Ultimate Christmas pudding, however I only have a metal tin - sadly they don't have plastic ones in Australia. Just wondering if this will affect the cooking time? I've never made one before. Thank you. Genmac32

    I would like to make Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding. I've never made a Christmas pud before and I could only source a 3 pint china bowl with no lid. As the bowl is made of china, would this increase or decrease the steaming times?  

    Hello Nigella Team, I'm excited to say the Ultimate Christamas Pudding will be my first pudding attempt so I am very excited. I will be boiling the pudding in a metal pudding basin as opposed to steaming in a plastic pudding basin. I understand the pudding will cook faster in a metal basin. Can you please provide some guidance on how long I should be boiling the pudding for in the first and second boil as I feel 5 and 3 hours could cause my first ever pudding to over cook. Thanks so much!

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding (from Christmas and on the Nigella website) uses a plastic pudding mould, mainly for convenience. These moulds usually come with a snap-on plastic lid which acts as a protection from the steam and prevents it from entering the pudding as it cooks.

    However it is possible to cook the pudding in other moulds - such as china, aluminium or Pyrex. If you use one of these the the cooking times for both stages are still the same as in the original recipe. It is pretty difficult to over-cook a Christmas pudding and steaming is a very gentle method of cooking. However you will need to wrap the mould carefully. We suggest firstly covering the top of the pudding batter with a circle of baking parchment (parchment paper). Then wrap the basin very tightly in a double layer of clingfilm (plastic wrap). It is quite a good idea to "overwap" the mould which means that you wrap clingfilm over the top and under the base of the mould. Follow this with a double layer of foil, scrunching or folding it tightly on top of the pudding.

    After the first steaming unwrap the pudding and re-wrap it using fresh clingfilm and foil (ready for the second steaming) then store in a cool, dry place.

    Stir-Up Sunday is on 24th November 2013.

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