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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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  • Retro Sponge Flans

    On holiday in France recently I bought a beautiful old-fashioned sponge flan tin which makes 6 individual tart shells. I know that jelly and fruit would be the retro thing to fill them with but do you have some other ideas about things to spoon into my sponges?

    From the nigella team:

    Sliced fruit with a gelatine-set glaze is certainly a traditional, or retro, filling for vanilla sponge flans. However you can also just fill the individual flans whith whipped cream (if you like you can flavour the cream with a little vanilla extract and sweeten it with a little icing/confectioners' sugar) and fruit. We would also suggest trying the filling from Nigella's No Fuss Fruit Tart (from Kitchen), which is a combination of cream cheese and lemon curd. The sweet/tart combination is a nice foil to seasonal fruits.

    It may also be fun to try Nigella's Chocolate Brownie Bowls (also from Kitchen) in the tin. We don't know the capacity of the tin but you woiuld need to fill each indentation of the tin around 2/3 full of batter. Also grease the indentations well with melted butter and dust with some cocoa powder, or use a special easy-release baking spray, to help the cakes to turn out. The recipe includes some ice cream and sauce combination (such as vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce) to go with the brownie bowls, but most of these suggestions would also work well with a vanilla sponge base.

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