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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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Latest Queries

  • Chocolate Fruit Cake & Marzipan Fruit Cake

    I am making the Chocolate Fruit Cake from Nigella's book Feast (p280). l would like to know whether I can make it before Christmas and put it in the freezer? And if so, how do l handle it when l take it out? Also can l put figs in place of the prunes? Kind regards S  

    Hi, I prefer a lighter, moister fruit cake for Xmas, so is it possible to use the Marizpan Fruit Cake recipe from Domestic Goddess (p34) as an Xmas cake? Will it be ok to feed with alcohol and if I make it now will it still be ok for Xmas?

    From the nigella team:

    The Chocolate Fruit Cake can be made up to 3 months ahead and frozen. To freeze the cake wrap it in a double layer of clingfilm (plastic wrap) and a double layer of foil. To thatw the cake unwrap it and leave it to defrost overnight at room temperature. The cake can also be made 2-3 weeks in advance and stored in a cool place, tightly wrapped in a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment (parchment paper) and a double layer of aluminium foil.

    Unfortunately we would not recommend replacing the prunes with dried figs as the texture of figs is different to the prunes and this will affect the texture of the finished cake.

    The Marzipan Fruit Cake is lighter than a traditional fruit cake but may not keep as well. We would suggest making it 2 to 3 weeks before Christmas and keeping it in a cool place, wrapped in a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment (parchmant paper) and a double layer of foil. It can also be made up to 3 months ahead and frozen. For feeezing and thawing use the guidelines for the Chocolate Fruit Cake above. It is possible to feed the cake, either with some extra white rum, or with another alcohol (amaretto would go well with the marzipan). If you want to feed the cake let it cool completely then poke a few holes in the tip with a skewer and spoon over a couple of tablespoons of alcohol. Do this before wrapping the cake and storing or freezing.

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