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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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  • Muscovado Sugar

    Hi there! I live in India and muscovado sugar is not available here, though we get icing, caster and brown (Dememra) sugars. Since quite a few of your recipes have muscovado am hesitant to try any - is there another substitute for muscovado? Help!

    From the nigella team:

    Muscovado sugar is an unrefined sugar made from sugar cane. The main difference between muscovado sugar and granulated sugars, such as caster Demerara sugars, is the moisture content - muscovado sugar is noticeably more moist and will hold together in clumps rather than flowing freely. it also has a slightly fudgy or caramelly taste. In the UK muscovado is sold in both light brown and dark brown versions, though the dark brown version is most common internationally and is sometimes labelled as Barbados sugar.

    In the US regular light brown and dark brown sugars are good substitutes for the light and dark muscovado sugars. We understand that dark muscovado may be available in some parts of India and it may be possible to buy it on-line. Failing this you can try substituting 200g/7oz/1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons of treacle or molasses for each 200g/7oz/1 cup dark muscovado (reduce molasses to 1 tablespoon for light muscovado).

    Muscovado sugars tend to dry out if not stored properly so keep any unused sugar in a tightly sealed jar or box, If the sugar does dry out then it can be softened again, either by putting a slice of apple into the jar of sugar for a couple of days or transferring the sugar to a bowl, covering it with a clean, damp tea towel and leaving overnight.

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