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Cream of tartar in France?

 
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fsutrill



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject: Cream of tartar in France? Reply with quote

I want to make snickerdoodles (and pass the recipe out to French friends in an English class here in France for Christmas) and the recipe calls for Cream of tartar. (acide tartrique or creme de tartre). Some sites say you can find it in the pharmacy, is it available anywhere else that's more 'normal'?

I know that I can sub double-acting baking baking powder, but I don't know if the levure chimique that you can find here is double-acting or not. Can anyone help? Thanks!
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've also been told cream of tartar could be purchased in pharmacies here, but have never asked so I can't back up the claim. I do suspect, however, that a recipe calling for it might seem strange/daunting to a French baker.

As for the baking powder (levure chimique), it is single-acting in France, but it does include cream of tartar in its composition (in addition to baking soda and a little starch to keep it from clumping).

If you would like to share your snickerdoodle recipe here, perhaps we can help determine the best substitution?
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Alisa



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 97
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi - It is called creme de tartre and can often be found in pharmacies, and almost always found in baking/cooking stores. In Paris you can find it at G. Detou, Mora and Le Grande Epicierie.

Cream of Tartar helps things to rise and stay risen. My research over the past few years is that the french levure chimique that Clotilde mentions works just fine for cookies like Snickerdoodles. When you really must use the real Cream of Tartar/creme de tartre is in certain meringues and cakes.
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fsutrill



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's awesome - the recipe is pretty standard-
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening (I was thinking Vegeline would be a good sub?)
2 eggs
2 3/4 c flour
2 t cream of tartar
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 c sugar for dusting
2 t cinnamon

In one place the research I did said that you can do a straight sub of doubleacting baking powder for the CofT, but then eliminate the baking soda, since it's in baking powder. One research site said something else...etc. I was getting really confused! So, are you saying it's fairly easy to find in kitchen stores? Or that I can just use levure chimique and all will turn out fine? (I personally would use the baking powder I brought from the states, lol!). Thanks for all the help so far!
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Alisa



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 97
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Creme de Tartre is totally easy to find in the cooking stores AND perhaps you could just sub it out with the Lev Chem. Test it, see what you get! Vegeline is what I use for veg. shortning.

This is not what you are asking, and I don't mean to tell you what to do..but.... Butter makes better cookies. Unless this is a Snickerdoodles recipe that you just adore, perhaps search Epicurious.com and Martha Stewart's sites (they are fairly trustworthy) for a Snickerdoodles recipe that uses butter .
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fsutrill



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks- I thought about the butter, but one of the recipes said "DON'T use straight butter, you'll be disappointed" and I read somewhere else that butter will produce a flatter, crisper cookie. I totally agree about butter making well, EVERYTHING, better (except maybe Iced Tea or Orange Juice), to me snickerdoodles are - for lack of a better word - puffy (not in texture, but they rise more than they spread). So while the taste would be superior, I don't know if they would have that characteristic texture.

I don't have time to test them as I am replacing someone at work and working my own job and I need to have this recipe ready fairly quickly, as the deadline for the booklet we're putting together is Monday...
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Alisa



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 97
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my best pie crust is a mix of butter and Veg Shortning. I do use vegeline here for that and it is fab!
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

{Off topic, but just wanted to say, it's good to see you here, Alisa!}
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Alisa



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 97
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I needed a break from all my "stuff" (could be called procrastinating). And here was something I actually knew about Smile
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fsutrill



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alisa wrote:
I needed a break from all my "stuff" (could be called procrastinating). And here was something I actually knew about Smile

Glad to be of service! Cool

Any word yet on the baking powder sub for the CofT and the baking soda?
Thanks!
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dropped by the pharmacie yesterday and inquired about crème de tartre. He initially thought I was referring to powdered toothpaste (that would have been nice in your snickerdoodles, no? Smile) and then, when I said it was for baking, he said he'd never heard of it.
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.meilleurduchef.com/cgi/mdc/l/fr/boutique/produits/lfr-creme_tartre.html

you can order some there ...

Otherwise, I would try with the scientific name at a chemist's :


bitartrate de potassium ou Tartrate Acide de Potassium, Tartrate monopotassique, Potassium bitartrate, Potassium Hydrogénotartrate.
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fsutrill



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*sigh* Thanks Clotilde! That reminds me of the time I wanted epsom salts for soaking and disinfecting a foot wound for my son! The pharmacist said, "Mais ca c'est pour....pour...quand qqun ne peut pas faire caca, voyez?" And I said that I understood, but in sports medicine it's sometimes used for sore muscles and some wound care. He was so excited! Our pharmacist is delightful, anyway.

Do you think that the straight sub of levure chimique (3 tsp and drop the baking soda completely) is my best bet, then?
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