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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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  • Stodgy Chocolate Guinness Cake

    I have made Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (from Feast, p286) for the first time after trying a friend's heavenly offering only to find, after following the recipe to the letter, that my effort turned out very heavy and stodgy at the bottom. Any clues as to what went wrong? It still tasted yummy though and the topping is a pudding in it's own right! Many thanks.

    From the nigella team:

    The Chocolate Guinness Cake should be fairly damp, a little like a gingerbread cake, but should not be unduly stodgy on the bottom. Normally if this happens it is due to a cake not being mixed properly - generally at the stage when the butter and sugar are creamed together. However as this cake is a melted mixture and is not creamed it is not the cause of the problem. It may be that when the egg and sour cream mixture was added to the saucepan it was not mixed thoroughly or the Guinness mixture was a little too hot (let it cool slightly before whisking in the eggs and cream).

    The oven could also have been too cool, causing the cake to not cook fully and leaving a heavy texture. Make sure that the oven is fully preheated before mixing up the cake. It can be slightly difficult to judge when very liquid cake batters are cooked but when the cake is done it should feel firm on top though a cake tester inserted into the cake should come out with some damp crumbs clinging to it.

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