How To Convert A UK Recipe Into A US Recipe
I don't bake. Ever.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a recipe on HubPages that I really wanted to try - if for no other reason than the picture made me want to gnaw on my computer. The wonderful Ninasvoice has shared with us the recipe for her Sexy and Sultry Chocolate Truffle Fudge Cake. Sounds like a lot of words for NomNomNom, right?
I looked at her recipe and was immediately confused, through no fault of hers. The measurements and even some of the ingredients made me feel like I was looking at a foreign language.
Then I thought about how others might have difficulty with converting measurements and even ingredients into those that are easier to work with in their country.
So I went on a journey to find out just how I could make Ninasvoice's beautiful cake. My first step was to find out just exactly what the heck a digestive biscuit was, anyway. Seriously? It sounds gross (no offense to those in the UK), like something you'd eat instead of taking a swig of Pepto Bismol.
That devolved into a discussion between a couple of British folks and me on my Facebook about the differences between cookies, crackers and biscuits that was hilarious to say the least. Cookies equal biscuits and crackers equal crazy people from the Southern US is about all I learned from that (and other) conversations.
I did, however, find out that digestive biscuits are pretty much like what Americans call graham crackers.
Then I had to figure out how much 250g of butter was - it sounds like it might be about nine pounds. Which is cool because I love butter.
How To Convert UK Recipe Measurements To US Measurements
I could go on all day about how to convert this or that, but the easiest way to determine what your US ingredients would be from a UK recipe is to use an online converter. I suggest the one at Recipe Tips, as it is self explanatory and easy to use. This link will also allow you to convert ounces to cups and other US measurements. You can choose between weight measurements or dry/fluid ingredients.
To estimate the correct measurements without a converter, go by about one cup for every 250g. So Ninasvoice's 250g of butter becomes about one cup or two US sticks, as each stick is half a cup. Her 55g of caster's sugar becomes about half a cup.
If your recipe is given in grams, usually for dry ingredients, remember that 28g equals one ounce. One pound is 455g.
If the recipe calls for milliliters or fluid ounces and not grams, then your conversion has to go a little differently. The general rule of thumb is that one tablespoon equals 1/2 fluid ounce or 15ml (UK) and 20ml (AU). One cup is 8 fluid ounces or 250ml (UK and AU). One pint is 16 fluid ounces or 500ml (UK) and 20 fluid ounces or 625ml (AU). One quart is one liter UK and AU.
What Is Caster Sugar?
After I figured out what digestive biscuits were (originally they ranked right up there with clotted cream on the list of things I really didn't want to eat), I looked at the rest of the recipe. Caster's Sugar? Glace Cherries?
Caster's sugar, by the way, is superfine ground sugar, not quite what US bakers consider powdered sugar, but definitely more finely ground than our regular table sugar. Although thinking that it belongs in Love Potion Number 9 is much more fun than just plain, old ground sugar.
Glace cherries are the candied fruits that most US folks would put in their fruitcakes. (Note: Please do not send me one of those for Christmas, seriously!) Glace fruit is just another name for candied fruit and it can apply to any variety.
I thought I had the recipe all figured out that this point. I knew that I did not, in fact, need nine pounds of butter, digestive biscuits aren't for upset stomachs and caster's sugar isn't something a witch would put in her cauldron. All clear, right?
Turns out that the dark chocolate in Ninasvoice's recipe isn't that lovely stuff that doctors keep telling us is good for us to eat. It's semisweet chocolate, just like you'd use for chocolate chip cookies. In this recipe, it would be easiest to use those chips, as they will melt more evenly than a broken up bar of chocolate.
Now I have the whole recipe figured out and I can make Ninasvoice's Sexy and Sultry Chocolate Truffle Fudge Cake.
For those of you who are interested, I've included a conversion of the entire list of ingredients below.
Side note: If you make this cake, you absolutely must send me a piece! And, once again, thank you so much to Ninasvoice for allowing me to use the photo of her sexy cake and to use her recipe as an example!
Actual Conversion For Ninasvoice's Sexy And Sultry Chocolate Truffle Fudge Cake
250g (9oz) butter
1.02 Cups or just over two sticks
55g (2oz) caster sugar
0.485 cups (can use Superfine or Baker's sugar)
2 tbsp golden syrup
American near equivalent is corn syrup
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp drinking chocolate
American equivalent is hot chocolate
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 large packet (500g) of digestive biscuits crushed up
American near equivalent is graham crackers
tiny bit of rum or whisky(optional)
60g (2oz) glace cherries
Just over 2 ounces, American equivalent is candied cherries (often used for fruit cakes)
75g (3oz) raisins
250g (9oz) dark chocolate
2.520 cups American equivalent is semisweet chocolate