I am contemplating purchasing Sweetex for my icing recipes that call for Crisco. Since it is more expensive (especially after shipping and handling) than Crisco, I want to know from any and all who have used BOTH products - which you like better and please be specific in telling me why!
I just broke down and ordered my 50lb. block of Sweetex. I had purchased a smaller tub before. It is a more stable shortening, but I still have to use 1/2 butter to cut some of the thickness of the Sweetex. I ordered mine from www.thebakerskitchen.com...they were the cheapest out of all the companies I searched. I live in CA, so after shipping it was $105.
I was trying to make do with Crisco as long as I could, but I just had to go ahead and order the Sweetex!
To answer your question as to why...my icing just didn't seem to have the same consistency as it did before, using Crisco. Although it was workable, and I didn't have any horror stories as others, I felt I needed a more stable shortening. Plus, sugarshack and tonedna uses it...C'mon!!!
Scratch or doctored/mix, butter or margarine, hi-ratio or Crisco,etc..... these choices are all personal preferences.
Which is better depends on which is more suitable for your particular application and circumstances.
I have used both, and my personal preference is hi-ratio.
I find that the hi-ratio frostings are more heat resistant and stable with a better mouth feel than straight Crisco frosting recipes.
That being said, there are numerous Crisco recipes that use additives to increase their heat resistance, stability and mouth feel.
If you go with the hi-ratio, I wouldn't recommend just substituting hi-ratio in Crisco recipes...the substitution rate ISN'T 1:1.
There are many good hi-ratio recipes on CC and the net, I would use those.
For both highly rated hi-ratio and Crisco American b/c recipes (and other valuable info):
(Everything you ever wanted to know about making your 1st tiered/stacked/layer cake.)
I also prefer hi-ratio, but as JanH said, they are not exact swaps. From what I've read, hi-ratio is "moister" than Crisco, meaning it requires less liquid added to it than Crisco. That, of course, affects icing consistency. I can't get any of the name brands of hi-ratio near where I live (and it's too costly to ship to Canada when I don't use large quantities of it), but my local bulk store sells it. I would suppose a name brand would be better, but I have no way of knowing.
Hands down sweetex:
more workable for longer period of time
more elastic and forgivable
better mouth feel
Thanks for the website Jen - I checked it out and it is cheaper than Amazon. Yipee!
I am loving the input and advice - I love picking your brains!!!!
If there is a cash and carry restaurant supply near you, check to see if they have Sweetex or another hi-ratio shortening. It can be less expensive than ordering on-line. I've used Sweetex which I like, Bakemark which I like even better, and Sysco which was OK, but not as good as either of the others.
Sweetex is manufactured by ACH corporation. They can tell you who carries it near you. http://www.achfood.com/contact.html
Bakemark is sold by Westco BakeMark nationally. Sysco is also a national brand. They can tell you if there is someone around you who carries their stuff.
Hope this helps
*Pouting* I live in stinking western Nebraska!!!! We have NOTHING!!! Sometimes I seriously hate living here...pretty much everything I buy will have to be over the internet. Cake baking is not a big industry out here. But I REALLY appreciate the websites and info - I want to become a great cake decorator and no one around here does it and y'all have been so inspirational!!!! Many thanks!
Since I bought SugarShack's buttercream DVD, I haven't used any other buttercream recipe -- EVER. I also don't use Crisco anymore either. I don't know if it's just the hi ratio, or other aspects of her recipe, but that is the smoothest icing on the planet. I buy mine from a restaurant supply company.
Hi ratio Hi ratio hi ratio!!!
sysco carries it.
If you have a friend in the school systems cafeteria, restaurant business or grocer you can get it through them via sysco.
I have used both and hi-ratio in my opinion makes a smoother, better tasting icing.