|Metric ingredient conversions
||[ Wednesday, 06 Feb 08 | 10:47 ]
Recently I have been cooking more “from scratch”. And that entails using recipes. Most ingredients are stated in grams and I have a scale that claims to be accurate to 2 grams (28 grams equals one ounce). But when the quantity is small, they use the equivalent of “teaspoons” and “tablespoons”. Trouble is, I left my sets of measuring spoons in the US and can’t find them in the stores here. OK, so laugh at me.
A couple of weeks ago I made crema catalana, but you may know it as the essentially similar crème brûlée. I was doing OK until it came to the corn starch. Unfortunately I used the conversion factor for sugar of 1 tablespoon equals 15 grams. So the dessert was too “starchy” and not as “custardy” as it should have been. (Fortunately Ruben thought it was great.) After scanning the Net, I found that for cornstarch, I should have used the conversion of 8 grams per tablespoon. So I had used close to double the correct amount of corn starch.
To add another wrinkle, it turns out that not all teaspoons/tablespoons are created equal. There are differences in size between the various “British heritage” countries (read US/UK/Australia). I have no idea about which to use here on the Continent. I would assume the Imperial (UK) size, but when the recipe comes from a US company, what then?
Any suggestions from the many cooks out there?
P.S.: When I was but a wee lad, my mother, whose family was English, told me "A pint's a pound the world around." She should have said "A pint is a pound in the US and 20 ounces everywhere else."