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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

  • Oven temperatures and fan ovens

    Hello Nigella Team, Would you please tell me if the recipes in Nigella's books use a Fan Forced oven or not. Thank you. Jendee. 

    Hi, I've tried cooking both the Lemon Meringue Cake and also the Spruced Up Vanilla cake and they both browned off far too quickly at the temperatures recommended. I do have a fan assisted oven though, so should I lower the temperatures? And if so to what? Thanks, Lon

    From the nigella team:

    In all of Nigella's books the temperatures stated (in celsius, fahrenheit or gas mark) are for standard ovens and not for fan forced or convection ovens. Generally the temperature would be reduced by 20c/50F for a fan forced oven but as ovens do vary we suggest that you check your manufacturer's handbook for more specific instructions. Fan forced ovens can be quite strong so we suggest also that you start checking your cake or dish for "doneness" slightly earlier than the cooking time stated in the recipe. If something is browning too quickly in the oven then you can cover the browned parts with foil to help to reduce the risk of scorching.

    Fan forced ovens should have a fairly consistent temperature throughout so the positioning of the dish or cake in the oven should not matter too much, though the centre of the oven is usually the ideal location. For regular ovens the temperature will be slightly hotter at the top and cooler at the bottom so we would suggest that pastry and souffles are cooked on a higher shelf, baked custards, cheesecakes and quiches are cooked on a lower shelf and other items are cooked on the middle shelf of the oven.

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