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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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  • Sinking Cupcakes

    Help! I have been making cupcakes from Nigella's Domestic Goddess book for some time. However, since buying my food processor and using this to make my mixture my cakes sink and are concave. They are also not as light and fluffy. Why is this happening and what can I do to stop this?

    From the nigella team:

    If you have been maing cupcakes using a classic method then the butter and sugar are beaten together until pale and fluffy, the eggs are beaten in a little at a time and finally the flour is folded in. The first two stages of this process beat air into the mixture and the flour is folded in to minimize the amount of air "knocked out" during the final stage. This will make the cakes light and will also provide additional lift to the cupcakes, along with the riasing agents in the recipe.

    If you make the cakes in a food processor (or using the "all in one" method of just beating the ingredients together) then not as much air will be incorporated and the cakes may not rise as much. Quite often to help counteract this, extra baking powder is added to the recipe. We would suggest adding an extra teaspoon of baking powder for every 225g/1 1/2 cups flour - this should be added even if you are using self-raising flour. Also make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you start as this will help them to combine more easily and will reduce the risk of the cake batter being over-worked during mixing.

    Some people may detect a slightly bitter taste from the extra baking powder. If you find this a problem then marginally increase the flavourings, such as vanilla.

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