The Christmas baking rush inspired me to gather all the "baking in Switzerland" information in one place.
Ingredients you can find, but what's it called?
- baking soda: aka Natron, available at any grocery, in packets near the other baking ingredients
- baking powder: aka Backpulver, available at any grocery, in packets near the other baking ingredients
- cocoa powder: aka Kakaopulver. Don't buy the similarly packaged version with sugar (aka Zucker) unless you are planning to make hot chocolate.
- molasses: aka Melasse, but make sure you buy it at a Healthfood store, aka Reformhaus. Do not use the Coop Melasse, which is pretty disgusting. Only very dark "blackstrap" molasses is available here, so if you want a lighter flavor, substitute honey for part of the molasses. You could also substitute honey for all the molasses, but obviously the flavor will be different.
- sweetened condensed milk: aka Kondensmilch gezuckert, with light blue packaging. Available at most groceries near the coffee creamers or boxed UHT milk
- evaporated milk: aka Kondensmilch ohne zucker, with dark blue packaging
- canned pumpkin: available for a short time around Thanksgiving at Globus, Jelmoli and some Coops.
- chocolate chips: most groceries carry some sort of chocolate bits near the baking stuff. You can get real chocolate chips from some of the Kosher groceries. You can also order them online. Or like most of us, simply cut up a chocolate bar.
- semi-sweet chocolate: most regular chocolate manufacturers (like Frey & Lindt) make a chocolate bar called "Cremant" which is about 55% dark.
- vanilla extract: make your own or use vanilla sugar (substitute about 1 tsp of the sugar in your recipe for vanilla sugar). You can buy it at El Maiz but its very expensive. Friends have reported that the vanilla paste available at Migros and Coop is a good alternative as well.
- brown sugar: make your own or order online. Don't get fooled the the wide range of "brown" sugars you'll see at the groceries. These are unrefined sugars that haven't been bleached white, but they are not soft like US brown sugar. Your recipe will miss the extra moisture. Occasionally you'll see Billington's Molasses Sugar at Jelmoli, Globus or Coop and this is real soft brown sugar. But it can be pricey, about 6sfr for 500gr.
- pastry flour: not available, order online or import
- cake flour: not available, order online or import
- bread (high protein) flour: not available, order online or import. Or buy some Vital Wheat Gluten and add 1TB per cup of flour, which is what I do now.
- unsweetened chocolate: not available (I've heard of one source, but I haven't verified it). For each ounce of unsweetened chocolate, use 3 TB unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 TB butter or oil.
- jello: available at El Maiz, Jelmoli sometimes, and the Kosher grocery on Waffenplatzstrasse.
Taste of America
Taste of America
I'm sure I missed a few things, so leave a comment if you think of anything else that should be on this list or have another source that I've missed.