Thursday, 14 July 2011

A guide to finding baking ingredients in Utrecht

Moving to a new country has its challenges.
One of them being how to source those essential baking ingredients which the local supermarkets simply don't stock. I have browsed many a Super de Boer and Albert Heijn in the Utrecht province in vain.

But don't despair, with the help of the Internet and friends with inside information I can share my findings with you.

Notes: 
Icing sugar - The stuff you find in the supermarket is not what you need to make icing (a.k.a poedersuiker in a cylindrical packaging). It is meant as a topping for pancakes and simply doesn't work as well as I want it to for butter cream icing. Of course you can use it of you like, I personally prefer what I call 'real' icing sugar.

Baking powder - you will find little packets called Baking Powder in the supermarket. They are not what most recipes call for when baking powder is listed as an ingredient. If you use them you will find that your cake won't rise much. You need the real thing. Trust me.

Cream of Tartar - don't waste your time searching for it in the supermarkets. You will not find it and if you ask for it people will look at you funny.

Bicarbonate of Soda - yet another tricky ingredient. Apparently you can find this at the 'drogist' or even at pharmacies but I prefer to get mine from the places below, with the rest of my baking goodies.



Shops:

1. Order online - http://www.deleukstetaartenshop.nl/  Here you will find all kinds of ingredients for baking. Beware though, since they have a lot of fabulous things to buy on this site... it could hurt your wallet ever so slightly.

2. Go to a shop called 'de tafel van 18' in Utrecht. Their address is Burg. Reigerstraat 33, Utrecht. Here is a link to their website: http://www.detafelvan18.nl/
They have everything you need and then some. If you crave instant satisfaction then nothing beats walking into the store and leaving with the goods in your hands.

3. I accidentally stumbled across the Cupcake section in Pipoos, a big hobby shop in the Netherlands. There are two in Utrecht and they also have a web shop - http://www.pipoos.nl/. Their stock varies but they do have all kinds of cool baking ingredients.

4. There is also a little shop in the Steenweg in Utrecht called 'Delicatessen Jac Bostelaar'. Here is a link to their website: http://www.jacbostelaar.nl/. They sell a lot of British and US goods and you will definitely find bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cream of tartar here. Chances are you will probably leave the shop with lots of American treats too. You have been warned.

5. If, like me, you are South African then I suggest that you get in your car and drive to Amersfoort. It is about 20 minutes from Utrecht and is still in the Utrecht province. There you will find a South African shop called 'Die Spens'. Here is their website: http://www.diespens.nl/
You will be in heaven and will probably spend a lot of money on things you simply must have... including biltong and boerewors.

I am sure there are more places to find what you need but the above shops have more than met my needs so far and I hope that you find this information useful.

Happy baking!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Elma - didn't know about some of these, and the prices at the Steenweg shop scare me. I usually find baking chemicals at the toko - most of them have baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar - my favourite is Oriental on Amsterdamstraatweg http://www.amazingoriental.com/ And I've just seen big bags of icing sugar at the Makro, but I haven't tried it yet, afraid it's just poedersuiker. But when I run out of my current UK stock, I'll probably give it a go. Harmony

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  2. Thanks for the Toko tip Harmony! For some reason I have never looked for baking ingredients there... will definitely check it out :-)

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