I live in Australia and wanted to confirm if the ingredient in the Dark And Sumptuous Chocolate Cake is for baking soda or bicarbonate of soda? I have seen the ingredient used interchangeably in the recipe instructions. In Australia they are different ingredients so wanted to confirm which one it should be. Thanks.
Nigella's Dark And Sumptuous Chocolate Cake (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) is a vegan chocolate cake that is so good that it pleases everyone. The cake uses bicarbonate of soda as the raising agent, mixed with vinegar. For Australia the ingredient you should use is bicarbonate of soda.
Bicarbonate of soda and baking soda are the same thing; the UK, Australia and New Zealand usually call it bicarbonate of soda (or "bicarb") and the US and Canada usually call it baking soda. It is used as a raising agent in baking but needs to be mixed with an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar, lemon juice or buttermilk, to activate. We suspect the other ingredient mentioned is actually baking powder. This contains bicarbonate of soda but also an acidic ingredient, such as cream of tartar, that will mean that the cake or bake rises without the need for an additional acid ingredient. The two are not interchangeable and you should always use the raising agent specified in the recipe.