Grocery shopping in France… and pastry Monday!

February 10, 2009

I went grocery shopping on Saturday to pick up the baking powder for my pancakes so that they would be nice and fluffy, but I had a really difficult time finding it! In Canada, baking powder comes in a big yellow container, but I couldn’t find anything similar at my local grocery store. I scanned up and down the sugar and flour aisles repeatedly before I asked a clerk for help, but nothing looked right.

When I had done a quick search in an online dictionary at home I had found the translation “poudre à pate,” but the clerk had no idea what I was talking about. It was really difficult trying to describe what I needed, but I ended up using my hands a lot and explaining that I need it to make bread rise (not exactly the truth, but perhaps the easiest way to describe what I needed).

The clerk took me to the aisle where I had previously searched, and showed me packets of “levure chimique” and “levure du boulanger”, and he said that this was the only thing they sold for that purpose. I looked at their ingredients and decided to go with “levure du boulanger” as the “levure chimique” contained baking soda, and when I got home and checked on the internetz I realized that I had actually purchased yeast! How confusing!

Baking Powder and Yeast in France

I went back yesterday, and purchased the “levure chimique”, and I am happy to say that it worked like a charm! I made apple cinnamon pancakes for lunch today, and I have to say that they are the best pancakes of my life. I substituted splenda for sugar and royal gala apples for the apples in the recipe, and they were amazing. I can’t wait to make them again, mmmm! One of the comments of the recipe mentioned that they didn’t contain enough cinnamon, so I also added 1 teaspoon instead of 1/4 of a teaspoon. I also sprinkled cinnamon on top, because I am a bit nutty for it 😉

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Mille-Feuille pastry

This is a pastry that I purchased on Monday from the bakery near my house. Mondays are never fun days, so I have designated them “pastry mondays”… a very delicious day, indeed. Back in high school I was friends with a norwegian exchange student, and we would go to Tim Hortons together once a week, and try a new donut flavour each time. That is also my goal in France to “appreciate the culture” (or pastries *cough*). (I really do miss Timmy’s, though… mmm boston cream donuts, ice capps, and french vanilla cappuccinos).

The mille-feuille also goes by napoleon and vanilla slice, and it is a deliciously flaky pastry filled with custard, and topped with a chocolate and vanilla glaze. Yum!

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6 Responses to “Grocery shopping in France… and pastry Monday!”

  1. Renegade said

    The pancakes definitely look good. Glad you ended up finding the appropriate ingredients to make them awesome!

  2. Yddub Lapruoyton Mi the 3rd said

    Woah, didn’t know internet celebrities read this blog.
    Is that maple syrup I see, ruining that perfect pancake?

    Blueberry jam + pancake hmmm.

  3. Carl Carlson said

    Yeast instead of baking soda, rookie mistake :P.
    Good to see you’re learning to cook, though I still think meatballs and syrup from a few posts back wouldn’t taste that great.

  4. That looks delicious those pancakes :D. And that pastry to!

    I hope you are enjoying France, stay safe for us

    -Sean (ReD)

  5. Jato said

    For future referece, baking powder can be substitued by half the amount of baking soda and a tablespoon or less of an acid of some sort (lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk or whatever goes with the recipie)

    It’s science at work!

    • prettypinkninja said

      Thank-you! I didn’t actually know that ^^

      (To be honest, though, I haven’t managed to find baking soda yet… ahhh… I’m sure it’s there at the grocery store somewhere, though!)

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