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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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Please note, we are only able to answer questions selected for publication and aren't able to enter into personal correspondence.

Latest Queries

  • Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake.

    The recipe for the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (Feast, p 269) requires 150ml sour cream. Here in India we don't get this at the store or supermarket. I was wondering if I could make this at home? Thank you so much.  

    Many of Nigella's recipes,including cakes,etc ask for sour cream which is not easily available here in India. And if I pick it up from a restaurant/deli it is quite expensive.I tried making it at home but wasn't satisfied with the results. Please help. I would love especially to try Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake. Hensy.

    From the nigella team:

    We have a previous posting on sour cream substitutes (please see the Kitchen Queries item on Sour Cream Substitutes in the archive). In some baking recipes it is possible to replace sour cream with yogurt - as sour cream has a fat content of 14% we would suggest using the full fat/whole milk version of Greek-style yogurt (which is around 10% fat) and try to let it drain for a while in a fine meshed sieve (if possible lined with muslin).

    The Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake contains cocoa which absorbs a lot of liquid vs flour, so cakes made with cocoa can have a tendency to be dry. The sour cream in the recipe helps to offset this and the fat content is quite important for the "melting" texture so for this recipe we would suggest that the sour cream in the recipe is replaced with low fat plain yogurt (as we are not sure if Greek-style yogurt is readily available in India) and the butter quantity is increased as follows:

    Replace the 150ml sour cream with 120ml plain yogurt (from 2/3 cup sour cream to 1/2 cup yogurt)

    Increase the butter by 50g - from 175g to 225g total (increase from 1 1/2 sticks to 2 sticks butter)

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