I use unsalted butter with a minimum of 82% fat, unless otherwise specified.

I normally use self-raising flour, to which I add a little baking powder to give it some extra boost, for sponges and puddings, and plain flour where no raising agent is required. I seldom use cake flour. I normally use strong durum white flour, on its own or mixed with strong yellow durum wheat flour, for bread. I have found different flours to behave but also taste differently - from their absorption and rising capacity to the their texture and density - and I prefer to stick to brands I have used before and know how to handle. 

I use free range hen eggs. My absolute favourites, and the best for baking in my opinion, are Old Cotswold Legbar and Burford Browns. Because of their low water content they hold their shape when you break them, they are dense with a thick white, they have a vibrant orange yolk, and taste superb. On occasion, I may substitute duck eggs for hen eggs, especially when the recipe calls for large eggs.


I prefer to measure dry ingredients by weight in grams on a set of electronic kitchen scales. I also measure eggs in their shell. I find this far more accurate than using cups, especially as cup measurements differ not only between countries but quite often between people. I only use measuring spoons for very small amounts - up to 3 tbsp - of dry ingredients.

I use a set of measuring spoons which have the following capacity:

1/8 teaspoon = 0.65 ml
1/4 teaspoon = 1.25 ml
1/2 teaspoon = 2.5 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1 dessert spoon = 2 teaspoons = 10 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml

Hen egg weight:

1 small egg = 43-53g
1 medium egg = 53-63 g
1 large egg = 63-73 g

I measure liquids according to the metric system, in millilitres and litres. On occasion I may use  measuring cups for liquids, which have the following capacity:

1/4 = 62.5 ml
1/3 cup = 83 ml
1/2 cup = 125 ml
2/3 cup = 166 ml
3/4 cup = 187.5
1 cup = 250 ml

There's very little difference between the above measuring cups and those used in other countries. For the purpose of comparing and contrasting, in America measuring cups have the following capacity:

1/4 = 60 ml
1/3 cup = 80 ml
1/2 cup = 120 ml
2/3 cup = 160 ml
3/4 cup 180 ml
1 cup = 240 ml

This is work in progress and I will be updating it as I go along...

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