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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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  • Cutting Roxanne's Millionaire's Shortbread

    Hi, I have baked the Roxanne's Millionaire's Shortbread in Domestic Goddess (p240). it seemed to have turned out very well, but when i tried to cut it the caramel was too soft and the chocolate too hard hence it was very messy. I have tasted it and it is delicious and would like to try it again. I followed the recipe exactly, the only thing i did do was make it in a foil tin.

    From the nigella team:

    With the Millionaire's Shortbread bars we wonder if the bars were refrigerated before slicing? If so the chocolate may have set too hard and become brittle. If possible, cut the bars before the chocolate has quite fully set or alternatively let the Millionaire's Shortbread come up to room temperature before cutting them, so that the chocolate softens slightly and is easier to cut. You can refrigerate the bars again after cutting. Use a sharp heavy bladed knife to get clean cuts. Also it is useful to wipe the knife clean between each cut so that the squares don't get smeared with chocolate and caramel.

    The caramel part of the topping may also not have been cooked quite long enough to thicken it properly - it should thickly coat the back of a spoon. Microwave power levels do vary and the caramel may need a little extra cooking time to help it thicken. However do watch the mixture carefully in the microwave as it is also very easy to burn mixtures in a microwave, hence the recipe suggests stirring and checking every minute. The caramel will never set hard, but it should be fudgy and not runny once it has cooled. If you are really unsure you could let the caramel cool in its bowl and see how  thick it is once cooled. If it is still very runny then you can boil it again in the microwave for a minute or two (again, checking and stirring every minute) but if it is thick you can just warm the caramel for a couple of seconds, so it is pourable, then spread it over the shortbread base.

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