Friday, 27 March 2009
Why do you use metric measurements?
I grew up using metric. I believe that it is the easiest and most accurate system. In the context of many baking purchases (tins, mixers, bowls, cookies cutters etc), scales aren't even that expensive - you can pick up a simple set for under £15/$20. I recommend electric scales as they're precise and you can zero each ingredient as you add it to the bowl (you can even place a sieve on the bowl, zero, weigh the flour then sift without the need for another bowl). I won't ever supply cup measurements on this site. If you'd like to read more about cups vs. metric, I recommend this article by Stella of BraveTart and this one by Alice Medrich.
How many times do you test the recipes before you post them?
At the beginning of 2013 I made the decision to test every recipe I posted a minimum of three times from that point on. I've found it really helps me focus on a recipe - once I've made it three times in two weeks or so, the creases iron out and the detail of the recipe becomes really easy to write. A lot of recipes are also tested by my mum in her kitchen before I post them.
Before 2013 it was a mixture - in the early days when nobody ever made a recipe, I usually only made it once. Now I really want the recipes to work for you. To that end, I've also taken down some of the recipes from my earliest posts - I know so much more now than I did then and I'd hate for you to try a recipe and it go wrong.
Can you help me with scaling up and down?
If the mixture isn't simple to divide by half or similar, I find the best place to start when scaling recipes up and down is with the eggs (if the recipe has them of course). They're the most annoying things to split into fractions. So if I wanted to make a 5 egg cake smaller, I might choose a 2, 3 or 4 egg mix. Then I'd divide each ingredient by 5 (the original number of eggs), then multiply by the new number I'd chosen.
Do you have any recipe conventions across the whole site?
All eggs are large and all temperatures are for a standard fan oven.
I don't think I get can x ingredient? What is 'caster sugar' etc?
I know some people have trouble finding certain things, especially outside the UK. If I don't explain something, please do ask and I'll try my best to help. The naming differences are also sometimes difficult. A few basics: bicarbonate of soda = baking soda; plain flour = all purpose (AP) flour; icing sugar = powdered sugar; double cream = heavy cream; caster sugar = very fine granulated, in between powdered and granulated.
What camera do you use?
As of June 2012 I use a Canon 5D Mk II and a 1.4/50mm lens for everything. Before that I used a Sony Alpha 580 with a 2.8/50mm macro lens.
What about videos?
I use my normal camera and a simple tripod. I edit with iMovie and upload to Vimeo (I have a Pro account so I can fiddle with the embed settings). I don't use sound as I think the picture is the most useful bit and - this might sound weird - but personally, I find videos with music or sound intrusive and will often avoid playing them. So I go for silent moving pictures. They don't seem to turn up on the subscriber emails, so I'm afraid you need to click through to see them.
What equipment do you use?
Though I have a policy of not working with brands and/or accepting products, I am happy to recommend a few of the things that I use. I grew up using a Kenwood mixer but after winning one in a recipe competition a few years ago, I now use a Kitchen Aid. I saved up for a pan from Le Creuset and love it - I'm also addicted to their spatulas. I like Alan Silverwood cake tins - they come in lots of sizes, including small 6" rounds and fancy tart tins and so on. I use Salter kitchen scales. My knives come from my Cordon Bleu knife kit and are the classic range from Wüsthof. The cake racks are part of a stacking set of three - mum bought them years ago and I think they might be Tala. The little colour dipped bowls are Royal Doulton 1815. I use these disposable plastic piping bags.
Who designed your site?
I set my blog up on Blogger. I then used some old and fairly basic knowledge to adapt the template to suit my tastes. I've redesigned it once but it's still the same adapted blogger template - it's called minima.
Will you review my product/accept this book/write a sponsored post/put up advertising etc?
I decided a few years ago that I want this blog to be pure recipe posts. I am not a restaurant critic or a product reviewer. Every recommendation is my own - all the cookbooks I use and mention are bought by me, as are all the ingredients. If I mention a restaurant/cafe/shop, I went there of my own accord and paid. I do not accept products (for review or giveaways), classes/experiences or money for promotion. I am not linked to any companies and I will never put any form of advertising on the site.
*** If you have any other questions feel free to email me: emma[at]poiresauchocolat.net ***
Posted by Emma Gardner at 13:01