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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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  • Colouring Ready To Roll Fondant icing

    I live in Italy. Could you tell me how to get a nice red colour or a strong blue with fondant Icing? I always get a pink or a light blue, although I add quite a bit of colouring. Thanks a lot, Tereza

    From the nigella team:

    When colouring ready to roll fondant icing it is best to try and use the gel or paste form of colours rather than liquid forms. The paste colours are very strong and you should not need to add too much to get a fairly vibrant colour if you are using plain white fondant. Also liquid colours can tend to make the icing too sticky.

    We would suggest searching for the pastes made by Wilton or Sugarflair. Wilton also recommend using equal quantities of their Red-Red and Christmas Red colouring pastes to achieve a bright red colour. If possible colour the fondant 1 to 2 days ahead as the colour can sometimes deepen on standing. It is still sensible to add the colour a little at a time as it can be difficult to gauge how the icing will look once the colour has been kneaded through. If the icing starts to get a bit too sticky as you knead in the colour, dust your work surface with a little icing sugar (confectioners' sugar), you can also put on a pair of CSI (vinyl) gloves to prevent your hands from becoming too stained. Once you have kneaded the colour into the fondant wrap it tightly in a double layer of clingfilm (plastic wrap) and seal it in a plastic food or freezer bag to prevent it from drying out. Knead the icing lightly again before using.

    In some areas you can buy ready coloured fondant icing - generally a box with 3-4 small packages of basic colours, though some specialist cake decorating stores may carry larger quantities of ready coloured icing. Try looking for the packages made by Wilton or Dr Oetker.

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