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Ingredient Substitutes for Greece

Asked by maria.manifava. Answered on 26th July 2012

Full question

Hello, I am a Greek student and I am translating a few recipes from Nigella's book Kitchen. However, a few of the ingredients in some of the recipes are not widely available in the Greek market. I would be grateful if you could recommend any possible substitutes for the following ingredients: bourbon biscuits (Grasshopper Pie, p182), sour cream (Maple Pecan Bundt Cake, p239), elderflower cordial (Gooseberry and Elderflower Crumble, p251). Many thanks, Maria

Our answer

We appreciate that sometimes it can be difficult to get UK ingredients in other markets, though you can often find some items on-line from British food suppliers.

Bourbon biscuits are chocolate cookies with a chocolate cream filling. Oreo chocolate creme cookies are the closest brand which is distributed fairly widley across the world and if you can't get the chocolate creme version then you should be able to use the regular vanilla creme type. If you can't get these either then you could use a chocolate chip cookie or a crisp chocolate cookie but will have to add some extra butter to help the crust hold together. Add an extra 30g butter to the mixture in the food processor and once the crust has been processed take a teaspoonful and squeeze it between your fingers. If the crumbs just hold together then it can be pressed into the tin. If the crumbs are still very dry and crumbly then add an extra 15g butter and whiz and test again. Keep adding butter and testing until you get the right texture.

For sour cream a full fat Greek yogurt would be the most local alternative avaulable to you, but again increase the butter by 15g (to 140g) to offset the lower fat content of the yogurt. Elderflower cordial is a sweet syrup which is mixed with water to make a cold drink. It has a floral, slightly lime flavour to it. You could use 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon extra sugar as a substitute, or just omit it altogether.

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