dimanche 1 avril 2007

Carrot & Pineapple Muffins

I was lucky when I moved to Paris eight years ago that I was able to move all my possessions and had enough moving budget left over to buy new appliances. I arrived with my cookbook collection, full sets of metric and imperial measuring spoons and cups and cooking utensils.

The challenge that faced me as a foreign chef was to find the ingredients that I needed or their French substitutes. The pictures and descriptions in a book called “Le Guide des Aliments” Könemann published in 1999 by Les Editions Québec Amérique Inc.helped me to identify the French names of ingredients.

Most of the hard to find ingredients were available at Lafayette Gourmet and La Grand Epicerie.

La Grande Epicerie de Paris
38, rue de Sèvres - 75007 Paris
Téléphone : 01 44 39 81 00
Fax : 01 44 39 81 17
Lafayette Gourmet
48 bd Haussmann
75009 Paris
Tel: 01 40 23 52 25

Some of the trickier items to find were:
§ Baking chocolate – forget the Baker’s chocolate squares (available at the Real McCoy for a small fortune) and opt instead for bars or a large block of Varlhona chocolate http://www.valrhona.com/.
§ Mayonnaise without mustard - I don’t use enough mayonnaise to warrant making my own so when I need plain mayonnaise the only local option seems to be Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise which is available in small jars at Lafayette Gourmet and La Grande Epicerie for around 3.50- 4€.
§ Baking soda and baking powder - I arrived with a full box of baking soda and a tin of baking powder so I didn’t need to hunt for these until well after I found out where to find them. Baking soda (bicarbonate de soude) was sold in the pharmacy. It is now available in boxes at Monoprix. Baking powder (levure chimique) is sold in a bundle of 5 small packets (each one with enough for 500 g of flour). It is available in the baking section of Monoprix.
Grocery stores have expanded their foreign product lines significantly since I arrived.

Carrot & Pineapple Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2 eggs
160 mL (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
160 mL (2/3 cup) vegetable oil
375 mL (1-1/2 cups) all purpose flour
5 mL (1 tsp) baking powder
5 mL (1 tsp) baking soda
5 mL (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
1 mL (1/4 tsp) salt
5 mL (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
250 mL (1 cup) carrots, grated
250 mL (1/2 cup) drained crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs and sugar. Blend in oil. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Filled greased or paper-lined muffin tins ¾ full and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

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