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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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  • Chocolate Fondue Mixture - make ahead?

    My sister is getting married soon and would like Chocolate Fondues for dessert. I was wondering if it is possible to make these in advance and then heat them up at the individual tables to make them liquid again?

    From the nigella team:

    If you want to make a chocolate fondue mixture in advance then we would suggest looking at the types of recipe that contain a mixture of chocolate and double (heavy/whipping) cream. This mixture is also known as a ganache and is often used as a chocolate truffle mixture. It can be made 3-4 days in advance, then cooled and chilled before being reheated. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month then thawed in the refrigerator overnight before using. A ganache mixture is a little easier to use than just plain melted chocolate as the cream helps to stabilize the chocolate a bit. If you are just using straight melted chocolate then you have to be very careful that the melted chocolate does not come into contact with cold liquid (such as water) as this will cause the chocolate to "seize" and become grainy. It can also be very easy to overheat the chocolate which will also cause it to seize.

    Ganache mixtures vary in their ratios of cream to chocolate so you may want to browse a few recipes but you should get a fairly thick mixture using approximately half the quantity of cream to chocolate (eg 50ml/50g/2 ounces/1/4 cup cream to 100g/4 ounces chocolate). Put the cream and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl along with any flavourings you may like to use and put the bowl over a pan of hot water. Stir the mixture frequently until just smooth then remove from the heat, transfer to a container and chill until needed. The mixture will be quite solid when chilled so if you are making a large quantity you may want to divide it into smaller portions before chilling. When reheating the ganache you must still be very careful that it does not overheat so once the ganache is almost liquid again reduce the heat to the lowest level possible and stir the fondue frequently. If in doubt turn the heat off completely - you can always rewarm the fondue gently if it becomes a little too thick as it cools.

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