Rodneyck Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 5:43am
post #1 of

Well I had my first class tonight in cake decorating school and we covered many things, but one thing I would like to share was on Hi-Ratio Shortening.

My instructor, who also owns a bakery, said that Hi-Ratio Shortening is nothing like the regular Crisco because it contains emulsifiers. It whips up, fluffs, unlike Crisco. The other major benefit is that it does not leave that greasy aftertaste on the tongue like regular shortening. You can use it in pies and tarts causing the crusts to flake more.

She made a decorator's buttercream icing with it, higher ratio of shortening to butter and it was so delicious, not greasy at all. I was sold. If you can get it locally or order it online, it is well worth it.

I buy mine from;
countrykitchensa.com

45 replies
cakesondemand Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 5:48am
post #2 of

Thats all I use my icing is more like whipping cream. Love it wouldn,t ever go back to crisco.

paxpuella Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 2:26pm
post #3 of

When I was at Walmart last night, I looked for this but they didn't stock it. Has anyone found it locally at their grocery stores?

Thanks for the link, I am going to check it out.

icon_smile.gif

justsweet Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 2:31pm
post #4 of

Here is some information on places to buy and differant names hi ratio goes by. You can buy at cake decorating supplies but it is costly.

I bought mine in CA, 50 lbs for $29.00. For Sysco and bakemark you want to see if they have a cash and carry store. You can buy their without having a business license.

Hi Ratio Shortening

http://www.sysco.com/aboutus/contactus.asp
item number 4003869 shortening cake cube all vegetable
(50lbs for $29, local store in Hayward (510) 481-1515, called cake shortening)

http://www.foodservicedirect.com/index.cfm/S/13/CLID/146/N/4471/Hunt_Wesson_-_Wesson_Shortening.ht (50lbs super quick blend 50lbs $56.45)

Other brands: Alpine, Biscot 140, Blendex, COVO S.M., Cremelite,CRISCO HI-RATIO, Golden Glow, XXX crème, Monarch Covo Sm (Icings & Cakes), Monarch Covo Sm - Non Hydro
Monarch XXX Cream (for Icings), Monarch Artisan Cremin (for buttercream icing - just whip & use)
Monarch M300 (Icing Base), Canbra Hi Ratio (Cakes) AND SweeteX Hi Ratio Shortening

http://www.bakemark.com/ (32621 Central Ave., Union City 510-487-8188, plus recipes)

ladyonzlake Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 2:39pm
post #5 of

Thanks for the info. I had read about Hi ratio shortening but I wasn't sure what the difference was. I do have a cash and carry so I'll have to see if they have it. I thought I saw it Costco but when I went back it wasn't there.

darkchocolate Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:23pm
post #6 of

I was googling about this special shortening because I would love to get some and I wanted to share this article.

One thing the site doesn't tell you about cake mixes, is the reason that they seem to be more moist than the cake you mix from scratch. The
secret ingredient that cake mixes (and bakeries) use is something called "hi-ratio" shortening....also known as "cake shortening". This is a special emulsified shortening that allows the cake formula to have more sugar in it than if you used a regular shortening. The more sugar in a cake formula, the more moist the cake will be. Sugar is "hygroscopic", meaning it attracts and holds moisture. If you use hi-ratio shortening, you have to use a recipe that calls for hi-ratio shortening. You can't just take any old cake recipe and substitute hi-ratio for regular shortening or butter. You have to make other adjustments as well (like adding more sugar) and the way you mix the cake is different too.
You can't buy hi-ratio shortening at the grocery store....it's only available from bakery supply houses (at least in my area, anyway). One of the most common brand names is "Sweetex'.

There's lots of good scratch cake recipes out there, but you should never expect them to be like a cake mix, because without that special shortening you can't achieve the same result. It doesn't mean a cake mix is any better......it's just different.
Hope that helps.....
Cheers.....Annie
http://experts.about.com/q/Desserts-747/BROWNIES.htm

darkchocolate

Kiddiekakes Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:30pm
post #7 of

I bought a box of High-Ratio shortnening from Bakemark about 2 months ago.It was a good deal for a 50 lb box...$43.00 CAD.But I have to tell yah...although the texture is much better compared to Crisco I wouldn't buy it again....When I tint my colors..I use Americolor....it almost seems like the oils or some sort of liquid comes from it.By this I mean my icing looks like it is breaking down in the bags and when you pipe it out..sometimes small liquid spurts come out also and the color looks like it has specs in it..Especially on dark colors it is very noticeable.I also tried it on chcoclate buttercream which has no color in it but cocoa and it did the same thing.Being that I use alot of colors decorating kids cakes I wouldn't recommend it for that use.The taste is much nicer though for white icings and baking!!!

darkchocolate Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:35pm
post #8 of

Kiddiekakes, I sure appreciate you letting us know about the problems you have had with colored icing. I always want to know the good and the bad about a product or recipe. I sure wish some bakery or something would be willing to sell me a small amount, maybe 5 pounds or so just to try it.

darkchocolate

bridgett413 Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:41pm
post #9 of

Has anyone else experienced a problem with colors and the Hi-ratio shortening? I would love to try it, but like Kiddiekakes, I do mostly kid's cakes and a lot of colors. Also, does anyone know how long it would keep fresh? I don't do cakes every week so it seems like it would take me a really long time to go through 50lbs.

Kiddiekakes Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:45pm

I just store mine downstairs where it is cool.It comes in a plastic liner so I cover it up after I use it.I have had mine for 2 months and it is still fine.Requires no refridgeration.

Rodneyck Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkchocolate



There's lots of good scratch cake recipes out there, but you should never expect them to be like a cake mix, because without that special shortening you can't achieve the same result. It doesn't mean a cake mix is any better......it's just different.
Hope that helps.....
Cheers.....Annie
http://experts.about.com/q/Desserts-747/BROWNIES.htm

darkchocolate




Well I beg to differ on that. My scratch recipes are just as moist if not more so and I do not use Hi-ratio shortening recipes. I can always tell if a cake is made from a box mix, it has the chemical after taste and even a doctored cake mix won't hide it, but this is a different topic and there are a number of threads on mix vs scratch.

Kiddiekakes, maybe your shortening was bad or something. I have never heard this happen. Was it hot when you worked with it, maybe like butter, it started to break down? Very strange.

Also, if you are having trouble coloring it, then switch the the oil colors. My instructor said these can be used for everything, where gel colors can not. You can use them even to color chocolate, because they are oils. Then again, I was told gels work fine with Hi-ratio, just like with regular shortening. It sounds like there is something wrong with your shortening to me.

missyek Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

I bought a box of High-Ratio shortnening from Bakemark about 2 months ago.It was a good deal for a 50 lb box...$43.00 CAD.But I have to tell yah...although the texture is much better compared to Crisco I wouldn't buy it again....When I tint my colors..I use Americolor....it almost seems like the oils or some sort of liquid comes from it.By this I mean my icing looks like it is breaking down in the bags and when you pipe it out..sometimes small liquid spurts come out also and the color looks like it has specs in it..Especially on dark colors it is very noticeable.I also tried it on chcoclate buttercream which has no color in it but cocoa and it did the same thing.Being that I use alot of colors decorating kids cakes I wouldn't recommend it for that use.The taste is much nicer though for white icings and baking!!!




Holy cow, Kiddiekakes! I thougt it was just me! When I first tried hi-ratio, I got a box of Alpine--LOVED it. But it was almost $70 with shipping--I ordered it from The Baker's Kitchen in Ohio. Then I found out that Bakemark in Buffalo carried the 50 lb. cubes of hi-ratio for $28! icon_surprised.gif It was such a bargain and worth the cost of gas to travel from Rochester to Buffalo to get it. But man, that stuff was crap from the beginning! It was soft so and as it got older, it got softer. Whenever I made icing, my stiff was always medium and thin was always too thin--even when I tried to fix it ahead of time. And if the icing sat for a couple of days, it would get even softer! I didn't have problems with colors, just the icing not keeping its consistency. Did you get the CentraBest brand? That is what I got. But,I just found a place here locally that sells Sweetex and OMG, I will pay the $70 that I just paid for it over that other garbage! Not all hi-ratios are created equal!! I just checked too and The Baker's Kitchen raised their prices, so it would be over $80 for me to get Alpine from them and over $90 for Sweetex, but I do like the Baker's Kitchen.

karateka Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:58pm

I've used this stuff with dark colors before, and I've never had problems with it. It's the best tasting buttercream I make, aside from IMBC. I've heard it's not good for BCT, but for just frosting and decorating, I love it.

Kiddiekakes Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 7:59pm

I just checked and mine says Canola Harvest..which is a Canadian company which also supplies the grocery stores with oil etc.The lady that bought it for me ...cause she has the Business account..HE!HE! said there was another kind but it was only a few dollars more but this experience has told me not to buy anymore!

cakesondemand Posted 10 Jun 2006 , 7:36pm

I use sweetx never had a problem it is kind of spotty in the bag but when its pipped its fine but make sure your cake isn't frozen or sweeting when you decorate if it sweets it will bleed dark colors.

FunnyCakes Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 1:20pm

I've never had a coloring problem and I use Wilton Paste colors - and Alpine Hi-Ratio.

I love Alpine - it holds up so nicely - smooths great - and whips beautifully.

butternut Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 1:38pm

Funnycakes - I also have started using the high ratio shortening. I'm having a difficult time finding buttercream recipes using the high ratio though. Would you be so kind as to share any recipes that you may have using this shortening?????? Thanks so very much!!!!!!

FunnyCakes Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 1:49pm

Actually, I just use it in place of regular shortening - but it is a little stiffer - so I substitute 3/4 cup of Alpine Hi-Ration anywhere it calls for 1 whole cup of regular shortening.

It makes regular recipes that call for 'shortening' much better.

Because you can use a little less - it goes further than Crisco.

I just use the regular recipes here on the board and substitute Alpine in.

I hope that helps.

icon_smile.gif

butternut Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 1:54pm

Great! Thanks so much Funnycakes.

ntertayneme Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 2:02pm

Does the hi-ratio shortnening crust like the regular shortening recipes for buttercream do? I'm curious as I use the Viva papertowel method to smooth my cakes... I'd love to know as I'll definitely try some of it if it does!

butternut Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 2:06pm

I have been using a recipe that I use both butter and hi-ratio shortening and it does crust very slightly. Not near as well as the all crisco recipes but I can still use a Viva paper towel and smooth perfectly. I like it so much better.

thecakemaker Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 2:12pm

One of my recipes uses hi ratio shortening and it crusts great. My last 5 or 6 cakes use this. When it gets hot out I don't usually use my butter recipe because it easily melts - unless I know the cake will be inside.

I had some problem with colors a while back (using americolor coloring) but didn't know what the problem was. Maybe it was the hi ratio - I guess i'll eventually find out.

Debbie

bridgett413 Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 2:14pm

Butternut, I see you are in Hampton. I live in Portsmouth, do you get your hi-ratio shortening locally? If so, where?

rezzygirl Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 2:25pm

Wow...now I know. I was just blindly following a recipe that called for hi ratio shortening with out knowing what the difference was. Thanks for the info all. BTW I use Toba Garrets crusting buttercream recipe. It wonderful, not too sweet and fills my 6 qt. mixer.

butternut Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 2:27pm

bridgett413 - Well hello there neighbor. I get the hi-ratio shortening from Wine and Cake Hobbies in Norfolk. It's in a little shop on Tidwater Drive. They've got a website which is wineandcake.com and you can get directions on how to get there. They've got just about everything that you can think of and more. I could spend the entire day in there just browsing. They are a lot of help too, which I ususally need a lot of icon_smile.gif

bridgett413 Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 2:31pm

Shoot, I was just in there yesterday and I totally forgot to ask about it. Oh well, that just gives me a good excuse to go back! icon_biggrin.gif They are having their anniversary sale on August 3-5. Another good reason to go back!

Rodneyck Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 2:54pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntertayneme

Does the hi-ratio shortnening crust like the regular shortening recipes for buttercream do? I'm curious as I use the Viva papertowel method to smooth my cakes... I'd love to know as I'll definitely try some of it if it does!




Hi-ratio shortening only differs from regular shortening by the added emulsifiers, agents that make it fluffier if you whip it, nothing else. You substitute it in the same amounts as any recipe calling for shortening. You can even deep fry with it (costly, lol.)

Crusting depends on the amount of sugar in your recipe and how much butter and shortening combined (fat) is in it. The more fat, the less crusting you are going to get. It has nothing to do with the "type" of shortening, as mentioned above. Find a recipe that says crusting in it and replace shortening with hi-ratio 1 for 1 and you will have no problems. There is a recipe for the VIVA paper towel method on CC that is crusting.

Hi-ratio shortening also has other benefits besides tasting better (less greasy on the tongue). It remains stable at a wider range of temperatures and enables it to hold more air when beaten. It can also incorporate more sugar and liquid than regular shortening without breaking, and it accepts coloring agents better.

I hope that clears up some of the misinformation.

BakeQueen Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 3:03pm

Orginally from California and was taught using hi ratio shortening and was able to find it in abundance. Moved to Mississippi about 4 years ago and they have never heard of hi ratio shortening. For the first couple of years I was able to mail order it but now I can't seem to find it anywhere. I don't care for Crisco but have had to make due. Can anyone help me find where I can purchase hi ratio shortening??

puzzlegut Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 3:14pm

We went to GFS yestday and asked them about the hi-ratio shortening and they said they could order it for us. The can order the Sweetex 50lb for $61.99. They said that we just have to call them in advance and whenever their next truck comes in, we would just have to go to the store and pick it up.

BakeQueen Posted 21 Jun 2006 , 3:24pm

Okay, call me slow...but what and where is GFS? As you can tell I'm definitely a Newbie not to mention in a desolate place here in Mississippi.

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