Is there a Chef trained in France and now working in the UK who can advise me please?
We moved to France some time ago and now I am really getting down to cooking again. I am learning to shop, to use French products which we enjoy so much, and are eating in the regional French style. However, still we like to eat the Brit style too as there are so many cakes and pastry dishes that are just not available over here
I am having multiple difficulties with using my UK recipes for cakes and pastry. I first thought it was the oven that was at fault or that I was losing my touch but after lots of research online it seems that the French flour qualities are different (T45; T55; T65 etc) and there are no equivalents to the UK Plain and Self- raising flour. My pastry (using T45) although lovely texture, taste and melt in the mouth keeps rising which is so very difficult for blind baking ie quiches and for Cornish pasties. Very odd as the shop bought Pate Brisee or Pate Sucre does not seem to rise! Not very successful for some reason with scones either (used T55). Cake making is just different too.
I have researched on-line and it seems that all the French flours are of a softer than the UK types and that T45 and T55 browns quicker than the UK flour types. This I found this out this morning and explains to some extent why my cakes are cooking differently.
So my overall results have sometimes have ranged from just disappointing to downright miserable.
I do not want to import UK flour as it defeats to object of living here.
Besides wanting to use my UK recipes I would also like to try and make Quatre Quart and the Bretagne Far cake.
Any advice about how to tackle these problems and making the transition would be much appreciated
PS Good point for French flour - I no longer have to buy a separate cornflour for thickening as the Farine fluid does the job just fine!!