Ingredients

Ingredients

By
Fanny Zanotti
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742704715
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

No matter how much I love a treasure hunt for obscure ingredients, this book is not about that. Most of the ingredients I use here are easy to find, and you’ll probably already have them in your cupboards. And just as I like having only square containers in my fridge, all labelled with the same felt-tip pen, I’m sort of a girl of habit when it comes to ingredients too. However I can’t stress enough that it’s ok to substitute. It might work, it might not work, but hey, that’s the way we create recipes. So go wild… or not!

Cream

I’m in love with French cream. It has 35 per cent milk fat, which makes it very versatile: mousse, Chantilly, custards, soft caramels ...

And of course, when I moved to London, it felt like I was leaving the love of my life behind. Luckily, I’ve found that whipping cream makes a suitable replacement. It’s slightly richer, but works beautifully in all of my recipes.

I don’t, however, recommend using double cream, unless specified, as its simply too heavy for pâtisserie with its 50 per cent fat content.

Butter

Unless otherwise noted, all butter is unsalted. I like to use French butter – as we say in French ‘Chassez le naturel, il reviendra au galop!’ (literally, ‘You might brush your spirit off, it will come back galloping!).

Not only because it’s French, mind you, but also because it tends to have slightly less moisture than other butters. However, you can use any high-quality butter and will still have perfect results.

Chocolate

I usually like to specify the cacao content of chocolate in my recipes: for dark it’s most likely 70 per cent and for milk, I’m addicted to Valrhona’s wonderful 40 per cent Jivara. But this is not a book about chocolate confectionary, so please just use these as a guideline. It won’t make a dramatic difference to most of the recipes.

Eggs

Eggs can range between 40–70 grams each, which can make a dramatic difference in most recipes. While I always weigh eggs at the restaurant, I’m partial to the no-fuss quality of home pâtisserie-ing. I use medium-sized eggs of around 50 grams each. And for best results, you should too!

Salt

Even more than French fleur de sel, I’ve fallen in love with the large and delicate flakes from Maldon.

I’m especially fond of their crunch and the fact they won’t dissolve easily in doughs, creating happy bundles of saltiness throughout cookies and shortbreads. If using regular table salt, reduce the quantities by half to achieve the same balance of flavours.

Vanilla

I mostly use fresh vanilla pods because I love their flavour and also, because I’m lucky enough to have plenty stashed in my fridge.

I have a fondness for both Madagascar and Tahiti pods, which have very different flavours. Bourbon vanilla, from Madagascar, is the very essence of the vanilla of my childhood; while Tahitian beans have a more distinct floral note to them. I like to combine them to create my perfect vanilla flavour. Alternatively, you could substitute one teaspoon of vanilla extract for each vanilla pod. Or use a teaspoon of vanilla paste. I tend to keep used vanilla pods – cleaned under running water, then hung until dry – as they make the best vanilla sugar.

Ice-creams

While you can stock milk powder from pretty much any supermarket, dehydrated glucose can be a bit tricky to come across. It’s a very fine sugar that has a slightly less sweetening power than regular caster sugar. Using these sugars will increase the dry matter of the ice-cream mix without affecting the sweetness of the finished products. The brand I use is Louis François and they come in neat old-fashioned – white and red – one-kilogram tubs. When it comes to stabilisers, there are two different kinds: one for ice-creams, and one for sorbets. You don’t have to use them, but they do come in pretty handy for making the perfect texture.

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