As an Australian on the big world wide web, I sometimes feel that the terms I use are difficult to understand for those outside our country. We use a strange hybrid of English and American terms and ingredients. So I have cobbled together a list of terms and translations for both Aussies venturing abroad and for those trying to understand Australian cooking and my cooking.
This information is intended to be useful rather than definitive. It is a work in progress so I will continue to tidy it and add links where helpful. (Apologies for the dogdy spacing right now - I am trying to fix it but my html skills are limited so this table is a challenge.) Any corrections, questions or comments can be sent to me at gggiraffe07[AT]yahoo[DOT]com[DOT]au.
My methods: I am a slapdash cook. My blog has shown me how much I tweak recipes as I go and I try to reflect that in the recipe I write out on this blog. I believe that in baking once you know the rules you can break them. I have been baking long enough to have a feel for how things work - though I still occasionally have a cake which comes out of the oven uncooked on the inside. But I just put it back in the oven. My mum tells me I must not change anything in a sponge cake recipe. I often adjust ingredients depending on what I have in the house. I share what I do rather than what I should do, but with some reflections.
My oven - My oven is an old gas oven (and not fan-forced). I don't always preheat but try to when I am organised. I notice I often need more time in the oven than recipes specify. Having used new electric and gas ovens, I am aware that others may need to take this into account when reading my recipes.
My oven cooks unevenly. I used to use a large baking tray but have recently bought two smaller trays which I find much easier for rotating cookies/biscuits or mini muffin trays for more even baking.
Lining cake tins - In my recipes I often say grease and line the tin. This is what I usually do - I spray the sides of a cake tin with oil (light olive oil) and use baking paper to line the bottom. If it is a square or oblong cake tin, I just let it go up two opposite sides. If it is a round cake tin, I cut out a circle of paper for the bottom. If I am using silicone cake tins I don't grease, oil or line the tin.
Measurements. The measurements I use are Australian cup (1 cup = 250ml) and spoon measurements (my tablespoon is 15ml which may not be an Australian measure), and/or metric. For conversions, go to Real Food for Real People or Gourmet Sleuth.Sometimes I say a handful or a sprinkle of an ingredient because it is not important to have an exact amount and you can adjust it according to whim and desire.
(asterisk [*] indicates that it is not an exact translation)
|Australian (what I say)||British||American|
|buttercake||sponge cake||pound cake|
|sponge cake||angel food cake*|
|icy pole||iced lolly||popsicle|
|mixed spice||pumpkin spice|
|wholemeal flour||whole wheat flour|
|dry biscuit||cream cracker||water cracker|
|bicarbonate soda||baking soda|
|capsicum||(sweet) pepper||bell pepper|
|icing sugar||confectioners sugar, powdered sugar|
|raw sugar||demerara sugar*||turbinado sugar*|
|brown sugar||muscovado sugar*|
|chilli non carne||chilli|
|butternut pumpkin||butternut squash||butternut squash|
|swiss roll||jelly roll|
|lamington tin||jelly roll tin|
|rolled oats||porridge oats||large oat flakes|
|oatmeal||instant (quick cooking) oats|
|corn flour||corn starch|
|Marie biscuits||rich tea biscuits*||plain butter cookies*|
|plain flour||cake flour, pastry flour, all purpose flour|
|spring onions||green onions, scallions|
|gladwrap, clingfilm||saran wrap|
|bok choy||napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage|
|broad bean||fava bean|
|Jap pumpkin||Kabocha squash|
|tasty cheese||cheddar cheese||cheddar cheese|
|dessicated coconut||shredded coconut|
- Dried apricots - I mean Australian dried apricots (like Californian dried apricots) not the sweeter Turkish apricots
- Dutch cocoa - this is a dark better quality cocoa - I am a little confused about how it compares to the American dutch processed cocoa which seems a lower quality cocoa.
- Milk - I use low fat milk. I don't really like the taste of milk so I let E choose the milk we have. In an ideal world I would have vegan milk occasionally but we don't use it enough to justify buying two milks.
- Onions - I always use brown onions, unless otherwise specified. I don't usually say peeled but I always peel them.
- Pumpkin - we have pumpkin all year round and in all shapes and sizes - but I have learnt that in America/Briatin some of what we call pumpkins are winter squash - for example our butternut pumpkin is American and Brits Butternut Squash. We use Queensland Blue, Jap and Kent pumpkin a lot - they are large pumpkins with blue or dark green skin - they seem quite like kabocha squash - see my pumpkin post for more info.
- Mixed herbs - I buy a commercially dried mixture of Thyme, Rosemary, Marjoram, Basil, Oregano, Sage.
- Self Raising Flour (sometimes SR flour) - equals 1 cup plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder
- Golden Syrup - dark corn syrup (I think this is the best substitution but let me know if others are better)
- Marie Biscuits - use rich tea biscuits in the UK and a plain crisp butter cookie in America (any ideas welcome)
- Promite (or vegemite) - there is no substitution that tastes exactly the same but you could try marmite in the UK or a yeast extract or (if in cooking) soy sauce
- Wattleseed - I tend to use this instead of coffee so you can usually use coffee where I use dried wattleseed
- Apple sauce - I usually just stew some peeled and cored (granny smith) apples and mash them with a fork
- Black beans - kidney beans
- Butterscotch chips - chopped jersey caramels
- Clotted cream - I just use a thick cream with about 45% fat - King Island cream is the gold standard here
- Corn syrup - golden syrup
- Creme Fraiche - sour cream or yoghurt
- Dried cherries - dried cranberries
- Fresh cranberries - other berries
- Graham crackers - marie biscuits or wheatmeal biscuits or digestives (not sure there is any exact substitution but these can work - any suggestions welcome)
- Half and half - I think I would use what we call thickened cream (but is actually pouring cream which the Brits call single cream)
- Kale - cabbage or silverbeet
- Kosher salt - sea salt
- Liquid Smoke - smoked paprika
- Tinned pumpkin puree - I usually microwave some peeled, cored and chopped pumpkin in a plastic tub and mash it with a fork (300-350g unpeeled makes about a cup of mashed pumpkin)
- Chef in You - Substitutes in Baking
- Cooking Light - Flavour Profiles - more information on less ingredients
- Dessert Diet and Dogs - Ingredients and substitutions
- Gourmet Sleuth - a little information on a lot of ingredients
- Joy of Baking - Ingredients and substitutions
- Market Fresh - photos of vegetables and when they are in season in Australia.