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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

  • Nutella Cake

    I have tried the Nutella cake and it tastes very good. All of my family members, especially my son, loved it. But I feel that the cake has not risen well compared to other cakes I have made before. Could you please tell me the reason for it? Thanks in advance!

    From the nigella team:

    We are not sure if you have made a flourless chocolate cake before but Nigella's Nutella Cake (from Domestic Goddess) is this style of cake. Flourless cakes will tend to rise up in the oveen as they bake, but then sink back slightly as the cool, leaving a moist and slightly dense cake.

    There are two reasons why the cake will act in this manner. First the cake only has the air in whisked egg whites as leaveneing and not a chemical leavening, such as baking powder. The whisked egg whites will cause the cake to rise slightly, but not as much as baking powder or bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) which continue to create air bubbles as the cake bakes. Second the cake does not contain any gluten (from flour). As cakes bake the gluten strands will set around the air bubbles in the cake, helping to keep the structure up. In a flourless cake the lack of gluten means that the cake doesn't quite have the structure to remain risen, so will sink back slightly as it cools.

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