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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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  • Shelf Life Of Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

    Hi I want to make the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake in advance for a birthday but just wondering how long it would last. Would it keep to make a few days before or should I make it the day before?

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (from Feast and on the Nigella website) is a perennial favourite. The cake can be made the day before, and the sponge cake layers can be made further in advance and then frozen. For a birthday we would suggest making the cake one day ahead and then after the icing has set a little store the cake in an airtight container in a cool place until it is needed. 

    If you need to make the cake further in advance then make and bake the sponge layers and cool them completely. Wrap the cakes in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw the layers, unwrap them and put then on a wire rack at room temperature for around 3 hours. Once the cake has thawed then you can ice it. Whilst it is possible to make the icing in advance, you need to warm it again to use it and in our opinion it is simpler to make the icing just before using it.

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