Have you ever looked at a recipe and given up when you saw that the ingredients were listed in cups? If so, you are not alone!!
The cup system works fairly well in recipes where accuracy is not essential and when you know you will not want to alter the amounts slightly in future.
There is nothing magical about a ‘cup’. It is simply a way of measuring. Two cups of this to half a cup of that. In most cases the amount the cup contains is irrelevant, although the smaller a food is chopped the heavier the cup will be.
The problem comes when you want to convert these cups into grams, mils or ounces so that you actually know what you are doing.
The first thing to realise is that the liquid volume of a cup is different in different countries. In the US a cup is 236mls, in the UK it is 284mls, Japan 200mls, Latin America 200/236 or 250mls. In Australia, Canada, New Zealand and some former colonies a cup is 250mls. To add to the confusion, there are only 16 fluid ounces in a US pint.
The problem does not stop there. Try Googling ‘US cup conversion to grams’ on four or five sites and look at the different values shown for cornflour, oats, rice and icing sugar for example.
This state of affairs is obviously of no use to those who take pleasure in or are more serious about cooking, so we decided to do something about it.
We purchased a US measuring cup and fastidiously weighed out a selection of the most popular British ingredients bought from UK food stores to produce the tables in our comparison charts. These were not done under scientifically controlled conditions, but weighed up normally just as you would in your own kitchen.
The reason that so many weights of individual foods differ greatly from comparison charts found on the internet could be because the recipe may have originated in Australia, Canada, South America etc where different cup sizes are used. Or they may simply have been copied from other websites using slightly different ingredients to those available in the UK.
Whatever the reason for discrepancies, rest assured that our conversion figures have been produced by measuring UK foods in a US measuring cup.
Not only does our chart show amounts in both grams and ounces for whole cups, half cups, third cups and quarter cups for a variety of ingredients, it also gives a list of US cooking terms and a chart for converting between ounces, grams and mils. Two useful inch and centimetre rulers are incorporated into the chart - useful for checking on the size of baking tins or rolled out pastry.
The chart is made from laminated 160gsm card and is just under the size of an A4 sheet folded in half, ideal to hang on the wall, keep in a drawer or use as a bookmark in your favourite cookery book.
The price of the chart is £2.99 including first class postage, but we are also doing a special offer of 3 for the price of 2, making it ideal to give as a small unexpected present to someone you know who loves cooking.