The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

European recipes

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

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.

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 

:)

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. 

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.)

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....)