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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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  • Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

    The recipe Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (Feast, p269) requires sour cream in both the cake and icing. I want to bake this cake a day in advance for my twins birthday. Can this be done or will the cream/icing/cake spoil? What is the shelf life of this cake?

    From the nigella team:

    The sponge part of the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake can be made in advance and frozen if needed. If you want to do this wrap the cooled cake layers in a double layer of clingfilm follwed by a layer of foil. It is best to either wrap each layer individually or, if you freeze them together, put a piece of baking parchmant between them as otherwise the layers could stick together as they thaw. Defrost the cake at room tempertaure for about 2 hours (4 hours if the layers are frozen together).

    The iced cake should be fine for a day if kept in a cool room. If it is very warm then it may be safer to make the cake layers the day before, store them in an airtight tin and ice the cake on the morning of the party. The shelf life of the cake is around 3 days, again in a cool place or in the fridge if it is warm. Let a refrigerated cake come up to room tempertaure before serving.

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