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plevee's picture
plevee

European recipes

frequently list '1 packet of vanilla sugar'


Can anyone give a weight or volume measure for 1 packet, please?


Patsy

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Patsy,


On this link another cook has looked into this and concluded that one sachet is approximately 70g of vanilla sugar, although there is some debate with others claiming it is around a tablespoon.


http://www.proz.com/kudoz/french_to_english/cooking_culinary/1233913-1_sachet_de_sucre_vanill%E9.html


Kind regards, Daisy_A


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think it's flavor is equal to about a teaspoon of Vanilla extract only it's in sugar form and no liquid.  So if there is liquid in the recipe, remove a teaspoon for ever teaspoon of extract used.  It is most often sold in grouped packages of 10.  Comes also with ground up vanilla bean in the sugar, which has a salt & pepper look to it.  Mostly it is aromatic white sugar. 


You can make some by filling fine sugar in a tall narrow jar.  Bury a few whole vanilla beans into it and let the aroma flavor the sugar for several months.  "Presto"  Vanilla sugar!  or Put the vanilla beans into vodka instead and make extract.  Also wait a few months.


Mini


 

plevee's picture
plevee

I have vanilla extract and beans. I needed to know how much sugar; 70g could make a big difference in a recipe.


Le Petrin has a great looking chocolate cupcake recipe I'd like to try.


Patsy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

There is only 8 grams of sugar in one package of vanilla sugar.  It is such a small amount you could just not put it in.   Use extract instead and reduce the liquids by a teaspoon or 5 grams.  The following is a translation page, scroll way down to the spices to find it.  The second is in France and answering your question.


http://www.joannemossdesign.com/de-en_cookgloss_de_.htm


and in French/English: http://www.proz.com/kudoz/french_to_english/cooking_culinary/1233913-1_sachet_de_sucre_vanill%E9.html


(Tip: Click on the "edit" of the next double copy. Change the title and type your next answer then "save."  The old copy is then gone... replaced.)


Mini

plevee's picture
plevee

I have vanilla extract and beans. I needed to know how much sugar; 70g could make a big difference in a recipe.


Le Petrin has a great looking chocolate cupcake recipe I'd like to try.


Patsy


Sorry, tried to delete duplicte without success.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Patsy,


Problem is there must be more than one weight of vanilla sugar packet so recipe instructions are not that precise! A lot of respondents talk about a tablespoon, which is around 8g powdered sugar, so similar to the packet weight that Mini lists. Might be a good to start with 8g if it's just to influence the flavour?


Kind regards, Daisy_A

plevee's picture
plevee

Well, there's 180-200g sugar to 200g flour & 200g dark chocolate, so I think the smaller amount of sugar should be enough.


Thanks Mini & Daisy.


Patsy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

A packet of vanilla sugar (Dr.Oetker or RUF in Germany) contains 8 g sugar = 2 tsp.


You can buy Dr. Oetker products in supermarkets in the US, but I usually make my own. Whenever I use a vanilla bean in a recipe, I put the used, scraped out bean in an empty jam glass, cover it with sugar, and let it sit, adding more beans (and sugar) when I have them.


Of course you can take unused vanilla beans as well, but I would split them first - and the leftovers work just as well.


Karin


By the way, 1 packet of baking powder contains 33 g (sufficient for 500 g flour).

plevee's picture
plevee

Thanks again. This is information that would be impossible to find without a trip to Europe - nice but somewhat extravagant for the purpose - or the kind members of this WONDERFUL site!


BTW, I impulsively bought a pound of vanilla beans which will probably take me a couple of years to use ( my mother always said my eyes were bigger than my belly!). Can someone advise me on the best way to store them. Or should I just share them with friends?


Patsy

plevee's picture
plevee

So maybe I can clear up my confusion about other Continental measures:


What are the accepted volumes for


 a soup spoon


 a coffee spoon


 a wine glass ??


Many thanks in advance,  Patsy


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a soup spoon is a table spoon


a coffee spoon is about 1/2 teaspoon more or less.  There is also a klein (small) coffee spoon which is the expresso size spoon, and a "knife point" or about a pinch.


a wine glass is 1/8 of a liter or 125 ml 


:)

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Patsy,


Interesting questions: I'm going to stick to what I know about the UK here!


I have coffee spoons in the canteens of cultery I have and they are smaller than teaspoons. However my soup spoons are also smaller than my tablespoons.


Perhaps you know this but a UK/imperial tablespoon contains a larger volume than a US tablespoon - approx. 20ml rather than 15ml. Australia also uses this imperial measure. So in recipes from these countries 1 tablespoonful can signal 5ml more than in an American recipe. It took me a while to work this out and I now have to use a smaller spoon for American recipes. In the UK we also have larger tablespoons from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, which hold around 25ml, but these are not used normally to measure ingredients for cooking.


In a British pub a standard or small wine glass is 125ml whereas a large glass is 175ml. Pubs have recently come under pressure for promoting the larger glasses and have been asked to cut back to the smaller measure.


Kind regards,  Daisy_A

plevee's picture
plevee

Thanks Daisy & Mini.


I lived in the UK for 30 years, so I'm familiar with those measurements & I've lived in the US since then. Kitchen utensil measurements for French, German and Italian recipes are a challenge.


BTW and entirely off subject, does anyone know the volume of a Japanese gallon? My Toyota list a fuel capacity of 10 1/2 gallons, but takes over 13 when I fill from near empty. Do the Japanese use the British gallon?  Patsy

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Metric measurements are used in Japan and petrol is sold by the litre. The fact that Imperial gallons and US gallons are different is taught, but the gallon measure is not normally used in Japan.


10.5 Imperial gallons is 12.6 US gallons. Was your vehicle made in the USA or for the USA market? If it was, certainly odd to have been provided with the Imperial measure. If you're really keen to know, perhaps the local Toyota agent can explain the discrepancy......

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Patsy,


I'll remember that you lived in the UK that long next time I answer! I have to say, though, you've done better than me. Apart from a short spell in Spain I've lived in the UK all my life and I only got to grips with the fact that UK and US tablespoons and cups were different this year. When I first got into baking in January I kept wondering why some of my doughs were too dry but I was measuring dry ingredients for US recipes in a UK cup, so no wonder. I have a set of American cups now but weigh normally on a digital scale or old balance scale.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

hanseata's picture
hanseata

In Europe volume amounts like tablespoon (German: Essloeffel = EL) or teaspoon (German: Teeloeffel = TL) are not at all exact measures! A spoonful is basically your home spoon (not levelled, but just a bit shaken to get the excess off) A coffee spoon is fortunately not often used as measure, most people don't have them, that would be a little less than a teaspoon.


For me it was very unsual and seemed also a little bit ridiculous not only to spoon ingredients in cups or spoons (not just dunk those in the flour or sugar as Germans would) but then even LEVEL them off painstakingly.


In European recipes you often don't find exact amounts for spices either, it's usual "to taste", with the exception of very strong flavors like dried herbs, curry or paprika. Measures like 1/4 or 1/8 teaspoons are not used, and half a tea- or tablespoon is calculated by eyeballing the regular spoon.


A pinch (German: Prise) is what can be hold between thumb and index finger, and a tip of a knife (German: Messerspitze - msp.) is nothing but: you lift a bit of the ingredient with the tip of your small kitchen knife.


In European households (unless they are used to American recipes) you will not find cup measures either. Everybody has a scale and weighs the ingredients. Only for liquids we have the same kind of measuring bowls, and some of these also show how much volume equals gram amounts for rice, flour or sugar.


Karin


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

are lots of pre-measured packages.  Vanilla sugar being one, yeast comes also in a package, baking powder, soda, with recipes asking for drops of flavoring or packages or half packages.   Often on the package is written, "enough to raise 500g of flour" or "use with 1/2 liter milk or 500g flour."   This leaves the home baker the option to use an amout that seems appropriate.


More detailed recipes list grams.  More scales go down to just one gram.  I have a older scale that only goes down to 5 gram measures. Most recipes, the larger ingredients are rounded to 5 or 10g measures.  Eggs are listed as one, two, etc or the eggs are divided.  I haven't seen recipes with say 47g egg or 60g egg.  I have seen recipes where an egg or two have been put into a bowl and water added to equal 300g for example.


Mini in Austria


 

plevee's picture
plevee

were always full of 'level', 'rounded' or  'heaped' spoonsful, handfulls, pinches and cups of unspecified sizes in the old books. They seem to be more standardised & use weights now.


Thanks for all the information.  Patsy

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Patsy,


Yes, you're right, a lot of UK recipes are simply in grams now. I still use some old recipe books, though and I found this Wiki page on Tablespoon/variants useful in indicating what the 'rounded', 'heaped' descriptions might mean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablespoon


Kind regards,  Daisy_A

hanseata's picture
hanseata

"Cooks Illustrated" ran a test on how to store vanilla beans. They tested all kinds of different methods. This is their conclusion:


"The real differences lay in how easy (or difficult) the beans were to handle. The vanilla beans stored in sugar, for example, dried out and shriveled, making it hard to cut the pod in half to expose the seeds. The beans stored at room temperature weren’t quite as dry as those stored in sugar, but they weren’t supple, either. The plumpest, softest beans were those that had been wrapped in plastic and stored in an airtight zipper-lock bag in either the refrigerator or the freezer. Both of these samples retained moisture, and little effort was required to remove the seeds."


The least recommended way to store vanilla beans was, according to their testers, keeping them in alcohol (Vodka). The test vanilla buttercream they made with it not only had an off-flavor, but also less vanilla taste (it leached into the alcohol).


Karin

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with vodka?  I use the vodka.  The bean should be leaching into the alcohol.  That's the reason for it being there and it gets better with age even after removing the bean after a year or so and discarding it.  The butter cream might have come out better if they had used the vodka and not the old bean.


I agree with storing beans in plastic wrap and then in a zip lock.  That was the advise at the vanilla farm in Costa Rica I visited over a year ago.  They could also be inside a tall narrow jar as well and kept in the dark.  Sometimes they are sold in tiny glass tubes... practical.


Mini

CaffeIna's picture
CaffeIna

I agree to those who said that a vanilla sugar bag is 8 gr. I think in Europe there is pretty much only 1 bag size.

SydneyGirl's picture
SydneyGirl

Vanilla Sugar:


In European receipes a reference to a packet of vanilla sugar refers to a small packet of about 8 g. They are meant to flavour 500 g of flour or 500 ml of liquid.


Just for you, I opened one and measured it - it was just under 2 tsps or about 8 ml in volume.


The equivalent in vanilla essence depends entirely on the strength of your essence. Generally, I would check whether there are any recipes on your bottles - and use that as a conversion guide. I've had vanilla essences that were so strong you just need a few drops, and others which you might need 1 teaspoon or more to get the same flavour (there's extract and essence - but I never remember the difference.)


As for tablespoons and teaspoons: 


Tablespoon & teaspoon measures have real metric equivalents - they're not just based on what's in the cookbook author's kitchen drawer. 


The bad news: how much a tablespoon represents really depends on where the recipe is from: UK, US or Australia? 


Australian tablespoons are larger (20 ml) than in the UK or the US (15 ml). However, I have read that in very old English recipes, a tablespoon was a lot more than the current UK tablespoon, which is just about the same size as the US tablespoon.


Luckily, it appears that teaspoons are about 5 ml wherever you are.


1 Aus tbsp = 20 ml


1 US/UK tbsp = 15 ml 


1 Aus/UK/US tsp = 5 ml


1/2 tsp = 2.5 ml


1/4 tsp = 1.25 ml


1 AUS cup = 250 ml


1 US cup = 240 ml 


1 UK cup = ??? My understanding was that the UK cup is a metric cup of 250 ml but confusingly some Wikipedia article has it at 285 ml, which seems way too much to me. I've always used 250 ml and it's worked fine for me. 


1 fluid US oz = 30 ml (2 US tbsp)


1 US oz = 28g


1 US lb= 454 g


Here's a tip: 


Make a list of the most common conversions and tape it to your refrigerator. Beats having to trawl the internet each time. 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Sydneygirl,


Wow this is comprehensive! Re tablespoons I also put something above. Current UK tablespoon is generally 20ml imperial measure, Victorian and Edwardian 25ml.  A British cup is larger than in the US. Didn't know the measures but this may be where 250 and 285ml come from. Useful to have the precise measures, thanksl Kind regards, Daisy_A

SydneyGirl's picture
SydneyGirl

I think the "modern" UK cup measure is 250ml. I worked out that 285 ml is 1/2 a pint. Pints are more often used in older UK recipes for liquid ingredients. 


The UK tablespoons seems to be the most unclear measure.  Some websites suggest it's 15 ml, some suggest 20 ml and Google suggests that the Imperial Tablespoon holds 17.75 ml.


So, on balance, I'm inclined to think it's somewhat more than 15 ml and somewhat less than 20 ml. Perhaps a British reader can enlighten us? 


This confusion seem to me to be indicative of the schizophrenic system of weights and measures in use in Britain - they supposedly went metric in 1995, but you wouldn't know it.  


Maybe the easiest way would be to just buy tablespoon and cup measures in each country from a reputable source. 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi SydneyGirl,


Speaking as a British TFLer I do think you are onto something with your observation that 285 ml is approximately half a pint. My husband's Cook's Handbook (1981) notes that a cup was based on a half pint measure. It also adds that when the US gained independence from Britain a pint was 16 fluid ounces. The British pint was later standardized at 20 fluid ounces. This meant that the British cup then became 10 fluid ounces (285 ml) while the US cup remained 8 fluid ounces (around 237 ml).


Although just celebrated this last weekend, American independence was a while ago, obviously so plenty of time for things to change on the cup front. I'm not sure if and when 'cup modernity' hit Britain but the cup measure I had from my mother, which would be mid to late 20C, is a clear 285ml. I don't know if a contemporary British imperial cup measure would be less if the pint hasn't changed since then but shops do now sell metric/US cups.


I was measuring with my UK cup and finding it didn't fit US recipes. I was about to applaud the suggestion of buying measures in each country from a reputable source when I measured the American cup I bought at Waitrose (who are generally held to be reputable and not rascals), and even breaking surface tension the water it held it didn't come close to the 250ml measure stamped on it. Weighed more than once with a scale that purports to measure to a gram, it peaked around  230g (230ml). This was a bit peturbing as I do occasionally use this measure in recipes so a slippage like that would effect the hydration in bread recipes.  It does show that measuring in grams is normally the most accurate route.


On the tablespoon front I have two sizes of inherited spoon. I believe these are both tablespoons but I'm open to correction. They are shown below. I think you must be right that the contemporary UK tablespoon is now 15ml. The spoon nearer the bottom of the image held more or less 15g of water whereas the silver spoon above it held 20ml of water (weighed at 15 and 20g respectively).



 


Kind regards, Daisy_A

moma's picture
moma

you are not alone! I too get confused by the different measurements.

In Denmark we do not use cups but measure in grams and dl (decilitre)/ ml (mililitre). We also use the teaspoons (tsk) and tablespoons (spsk) as in Germany.

regarding vanilla: I do not recall ever seeing Vanilla sugar in packets. Here it is sold in small containers (Dr. Oetker). However i make my own from castersugar and sliced up pods. If you have a foodprocessor you can easyly make somthing which resembles Oetkers.

Vanilla pods are sold in small glasstubes. Actually I store mine (i bought them in bulk) in a glass with a small amount of vodka in. This keep the pods moist.

 

OT: how much butter is a stick? (in grams) ;)

/moma from Denmark

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The last I can remember one stick is 1/2 a cup of butter.  Two sticks being a cup and 4 sticks being a pound of butter in the US.   The paper on the wrapped butter most often has markings so the stick can be cut into half or quarters, eighths, etc.

I like butter and it comes in 250g packages in Austria so I use 125g as half a cup and 250g as a cup.   Keeping cup recipes at 250ml for fluids.  

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Hi, Moma,

One stick butter is approximately 113 g.

Jeg skal hilse fra Maine,

Karin (going to make Røde Grøde tomorrow)

 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I find it interesting how many different countries use teaspoon/tablespoon measures, and how different they are. (All hail to measuring everything by weight, having a second "pocket scale" for the "small" ingredients:-)

In the U.S., measuring teaspoons/tablespoons are something we buy at the kitchen store. They're often round with a deep bowl, similar to about a 1/3 slice off the bottom of a ball. They typically come as a set (an el-cheapo set may provide 1/4t, 1/2t, 1t, and 1T - an extensive set might provide 1/8t, 1/4t, 1/3t, 1/2t, 3/4t, 1t, 1/2T, and 1T).

I can't figure out at the moment exactly how they compare to other teaspoon/tablespoon measures. I do know that three U.S. teaspoons make a U.S. tablespoon, and sixteen U.S. tablespoons make a U.S. (8 oz.) "cup", so there are 48 U.S. teaspoons in a U.S. "cup". (Scaling these non-metric measures up/down can be painful; fractions, anyone?-)

Except for having the same names, they are nothing like the different sizes of spoons in our flatware drawer. Our utensils are not at all standardized; they often hold either less than or significantly more than a measure with the same name. (I've seen antique tablespoons -probably intended to serve meat with gravy- that hold several times as much as a measuring spoon.)

moma's picture
moma

@Karin. Tak skal du have :)  - yum, rød grød :P thats sounds really nice. 

lumos's picture
lumos

Having read this thread, I'm so grateful for those sensible people (whoever they were...)   in post-WWII Japan who thought it was a good idea to throw away the old Japanese measurements!  And extra kudos for them for seeing the logic and light  in metric systems rather than the Imperial system used by then occupying force of the US!! :p

As for teaspoon and tablespoon, we don't have them. Well, we do have them for eating, obviously, but for measurement we call it 'small spoon' (5ml) and 'big spoon'(15ml) and those are something you buy at a kitchen store, just as Chuck said.  So many of Japanese people don't even know those small and big spoons were actually originally based on the humble teaspoon and  tablespoon in their kitchen drawer.

One thing, though, which is inconvenient is for some weired reason, a Japanese cup is not 250ml (or circa) like in many metric countries but 200ml, probably the only remaining ghost of the old Japanese measurement in which 'a go (=a Japanese cup. Still commonly used to measure rice)' was about 180ml, just rounded up to 200 to make it neat.  This often causes confusion and a 'kitchen tragedy' to Japanese expat wives. Imagine the first time they try a new recipe in the country they're suddenly transfered to, believing 'a cup' measurement is universal everywhere......

 

The life in UK is much easier for me now that most things have successfully switched to metric in recent years.....though I can't do driving speed and distance in metric. It HAS TO BE in miles. (I learned to drive here....)

moma's picture
moma

no more worries - heres a nice list of measurement equivalents.  :)

jcking's picture
jcking

Sorry, too much rounding off for me. 1 oz =28.35 grams not 30.

Jim