#ThatTranslatorCanCook Week Six: Maple Cookies

How did it get to be week six of this challenge? Time sure flies!

This week I’ve chosen a simple, rather autumnal dish. I know I’m a little late to the game (it being December now…), but it was a firm favourite from my time in Canada, so I decided to try it out…Maple Cookies! These delicious maple syrup cookies are a staple in Canada and were loved by me and my husband when I brought them back in May. So without further ado…

As I said, this recipe was fairly simple, so I didn’t actually come across any interesting translation issues. However, I did note that this recipe was a lot more detailed than many other French-language recipes that I have tried in the past. Maybe this is because it is designed for a North American audience? I had a chat with some fellow translators about this on Twitter and we came up with the hypothesis that maybe more detailed recipes are more common in countries where there are fewer home cooks. There also seems to be a correlation between the detail of recipes and instructions on foods. E.g. when my husband recently brought back some smoked mackarel from France the other week and there were no instructions whatsoever to suggest whether or not you should cook it!

The levure debate continues…
One interesting feature of this recipe, however, was the term poudre à pâte, which means baking powder. I had previously thought that levure chimique meant baking powder (as discussed here), but when I researched it, it would appear that levure chimique tends to refer purely to bicarbonate of soda (more on that here). Now, if anyone can tell me what the difference between bicarbonate of soda and baking powder is, that would be great!

Like I said, this recipe was really straightforward and so very easy to make! However, I did encounter a few challenges.

Maple cookie dough in the shape of a maple leaf

Firstly, the measurements were a little tricky, because they’re in cups. As cups are based on volume, not weight, you can’t just type in ‘1/2 cup in grams’ in google and use that. Instead you have to search for each item individually, as 1/2 cup of butter does not weight the same as 1/2 cup of flour! Thankfully, the internet is full of answers, but it is a bit cumbersome typing them all in. If anyone fancies buying me some measuring cups, feel free!

Maple cookies in a tin

Secondly, my major issue was that some of the ingredients are not available over here (e.g. maple butter and maple sugar). From my time in Canada, I know that these are widely available over there, but even searching online, I couldn’t find anywhere to order them. Again, any Canadians reading, if you fancy sending me these in the post…Anyway, I substituted the maple sugar for a little extra maple syrup and caster sugar. As for the maple butter, it was for a ganache-type topping, so instead I decided to cover them with milk chocolate…unfortunately, I attempted to melt the chocolate twice, once in a bain marie and once in the microwave and it separated both times! Does anyone know why this would happen? It’s never happened to me before! Neveremind, they were still delicious! I did also manage to find a maple leaf shaped cookie cutter online, which I was pleased with!

Next week, I will be tackling a French favourite…stay tuned to find out what it is!

Published by verityroat

Verity Roat BA CANTAB MA TRANSLATION CIOL Career Associate is a UK-based Arabic and French > English translator, Copy-writer, Copy-editor, Transcriber, Role-player & Tutor.

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