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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

  • Grasshopper Pie ingredients& tips

    Can you please tell me what is the best (brand) Creme De Cacao Blanc to use in the Grasshopper Pie recipe and where can you get some from. I have tried my local Asda, Sainsburys, Tescos and Morrisons supermarkets to no avail. I have managed to get all the other ingredients for this recipe but not this.Thanks. 

    I made this pie from Nigella's cookery book but the filling curdled when I added the food colouring. Can you tell me how to prevent this happening again as it tasted delicious (apart from the texture!) and I would like to make it again for visitors this weekend.

    Made the base, smells and looks lovely. Made the topping, perfect for a little while but before I can pour it onto the base it seperates, really badly. Have tried it twice, recipe followed exactly but just splits, have not overwhipped cream and have allowed marshmallow/milk mixture to cool before combining. Topping tastes gorgeous before it splits, I am so frustrated!!!!! Help please.

    From the nigella team:

    The most popular brand for creme de menthe and creme de cacao is De Kuyper. They may be available in good off licenses and some stores will be able to order the liqueurs in for you. They are also available on-line in the UK at



    The chocolate flavour of the creme de cacao tends to soften and round out the mint flavour of the creme de menthe but you could go with just creme de menthe if you really can't find creme de cacao. You don't really need to add any extra other liquid to offset the missing alcohol as As the main flavour of the pie comes from the creme de menthe we would suggest that this is not omitted, though we are working on a possible alcohol-free alternative.

    When making the filling for the pie make sure that the milk and marshmallow mixture does not over heat. Take it off the heat as soon as the milk starts to bubble slightly and stir off the heat until the marshmallows have melted. If you have to return the pan to the stove then do it over a very low heat and do not boil. The marshmallows contain gelatine and if the mixture boils then the gelatine will loose its setting qualities and the filling will not set again. It may also be useful to whisk the marshmallow mixture at regular intervals when it is cooling, to prevent it from separating.

    The cream for the filling needs to be whipped until it holds soft peaks. Lift the beater or whisk from the bowl and the cream on the end should make a peak which flops over at the tip. If the cream is only just holding its shape in the bowl and not making a soft peak then it may need a tiny bit more whisking before you add the marshmallow and you may prefer to do this by hand to reduce the risk of over whisking the cream. Once the marshmallow mixture has been added then you should only need to whisk for a short period of time to incorporate the marshmallow and let the filling thicken a little again. Too much whisking is likely to cause the filling to curdle or separate. If you are adding food colouring then you may prefer to add a little to the cream when you add the marshmallow mixture and then add more as quickly as possible if you feel that the colour is not strong enough as adding the colouring in lots of very small amounts will also increase the risk of over whisking the filling. 




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