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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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  • Shaped Fruit Cake

    Hello, I have made Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake for quite a few years now and everyone just loves it! I do make the same thing every year though so was going to try to make it a little different. I was planning to make it in a "holiday tree" bunt tin which, clearly, presents some challenges for decorating. I had wanted to do more than just a sprinkle of icing sugar and was thinking of pouring a thin (but complete) layer of chocolate over it. I'd thought that this should hopefully effectively seal the cake and help it to last at least a few weeks as well as enhancing the 'chocolatey-ness'. Do you have any experience of anyone doing this or any tips you could maybe offer? Many thanks!

    From the nigella team:

    We would be slightly cautious about making the Incredibly Easy Chocolate Fruit Cake in a fancy shaped bundt tin as it presents several challenges. The first is that the cooking time of the cake is quite long (though will be reduced in a bundt tin due to the hole in the centre) but as this cake can colour on the edges quite easily you may find that the cake batter in the tips of the fir trees will burn before the cake is cooked in the thicker, central part.

    Secondly the cake itself is quite sticky and it may be difficult to remove from a shaped tin. In a regular tin it is easy to line the tin with baking parchment (parchment paper) which is non-stick and can easily be peeled away once the cke has cooled. To remove the cake from the nooks and crannies of a shaped bundt tin could be challenging and the tin would have to be very well greased, plus it may be worth using a baking spray specially designed for baking tins.

    The cake should remain relatively moust, though again the tips of the fir tree parts could dry out more quickly. Keep the cake in a large tin in a cool place for up to 2 weeks. Covering the cake completely with chocolate could also be a challenge and instead we would suggest drizzling melted white chocolate over the cake and decorating with silver or gold dragees, lustre dust and any other sparkly edible decorations that you may like.

    May we also suggest considering Nigella's Snow-Topped Spice Cake as an alternative if you would like to use a bundt tin. It is Domestic Goddess on p253.

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