So you’ve arrived in Paris with your mom’s famous pound cake recipe or your best friend’s secret formula for chocolate chip cookies, and the first time out, it’s a flop. The cake sags, your cookies run, the taste is off. What the heck?! You’ve learned the hard way that the flour, the butter, the eggs are all just a little bit different here and it’s wreaking havoc with your time-honored favorites.
David Lebovitz, former pastry chef at Berkeley’s famous Chez Panisse, cookbook author extraordinaire, and Paris blogger to the rescue! David’s blog is chockful of great recipes and funny tales about being an American in Paris and he’s also got great tips for understanding French ingredients and what to look for when you’re trying to recreate your North American baked goods on French soil.
David’s work is copyrighted so I can’t reproduce it here but follow these links and be sure to bookmark them when you get there. Hands down, he’s got the clearest advice on flours, sugars, and other essentials plus tips on where to find both the best quality ingredients in Paris and those everyday items (like buttermilk or molasses) that may not be on the shelves in your local supermarket.
Ingredients for American Baking in Paris (France)
More on French flours and French butters from Practically Edible, a Web-based food encyclopedia.