Has anyone used Bakemark Westco hi-ratio shortening and if so, did you like it? I'm considering buying 50 pounds and don't want to do it if it isn't good.
Also, they tell me the shelf life of high-ratio is 3 years, but I was thinking I'd freeze it, like I do butter. Anyone have experience with ths?
It is great to have people to ask. I'm so glad I found this website last month! You've all made me feel very welcome.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
..recently bought the same thing! Man...there is so much shortening in that box. It is the heaviest 50# I've ever lifted! I'm still trying to come up with a recipe that I like. I always make quadruple batches of icing, so right now I am using a double batch of my regular recipe and a double batch of a hi-ratio recipe. I haven't been happy with any of the hi-ratio recipes that I have found so far, but the combo seems to work ok!
I've considered buying hi-ratio shortening, too...good question itsacake!
MrsMissey - what is it about the hi-ratio that you're not liking? Taste, texture, etc.? I'd love to know - it'll help me in my decision to buy. TIA
Good question...I don't know what it is exactly, I can't put my finger on it. One thing is...when I make a quadruple batch of my buttercream, I can cover 2 11 x 15" cakes and decorate. Ironically, with the hi-ratio, I it only makes enough to cover 1-1/2 11 x 15" sheet cakes. So I guess I just haven't found the right concoction yet. No problems with the texture, it is nice and creamy!
Well that would/should affect the price of cakes a little, imo. But good to know the texture is right. WOnder what it is about the hi-ratio that it produces less in volume, I guess you'd say. hhhmmmm?? I can sense some research taking place in my near future!! lol
I've never compared the yields I get with Crisco versus hi-ratio. I just read that it was better, and one of my instructors also said that, and when I tired it, I liked it--it seemed a bit lighter and not quite as greasy. Since I don't use butter because my cakes are "kosher pareve" and I still want to still be able to have icing as yummy as possible, this seemed like a good idea. As a relatively new decorator, I haven't really had the chance to compare how much cake I could cover with the different shortenings.
MrsMissy, is the only difference between your double batches the fact that the shortenings are different? I use the same recipe whether I'm using Crisco or hi-ratio, but I'm using Rose Levy Berenbaum's Mousseline"buttercream" or sometimes her Classic Eggwhite Chocolate "buttercream" (using pure dried eggwhites) and I don't know what happens with powdered sugar buttercream.
I did just post on another thread that you are supposed to be able to substitute cup for cup between butter, Crisco, and hi-ratio, but that the weights are significantly different. I weigh everything instead of measuirng so I use 192 grams of Crisco when it calls for a cup, but only 160 grams of hi-ratio. (Butter would be 224 grams). Still everything else stays the same, and the bowl seems just as full as usual. I figured this was why they called it hi-ratio--because by weight you are using a higher ratio of sugar to shortening.
Three more questions MrsMissy:
1) Do you bake with the hi-ratio as well, or just use it in icings? So far I haven't tried it for the actual cake, though they say it works well. Since I was buying it three pounds at a time, I just used it for the most improtant thing. I'm not sure if it would make the cake lighter, I sort-of like them a bit dense since I use a lot of fondant. IF I buy the 50 pounds, I'm sure I'll try baking with it too.
2) How are you storing the h-ratio and how long does it last for you? I know you bake a lot more than I do. I've frozen the 3 pounds of hi-ratio to see if it suffered and it seems fine, but it would be nice to hear from someone with more experience. The cake store says it has a shelf life of three years without refrigeration or freezing. I'm sure I'll use it much faster than that but I'm not sure I want to leave it out. I won't buy it from them probably. I want to try to get it wholesale.
3)Would you mind sharing how much you paid for the 50 pound box?
Thanks to you and to anyone else who has insight into this.
I weigh everything as well. I think it's the only way to go! I tried just substituting the hi ratio for the crisco and it was sooooooo watery, I couldn't even use it. That's when I decided to do a combination of the two, results were better but it just did't produce as much! I did notice that it was much less greasy, which is why I really want to find a recipe that I am happt with. Still working on that!!
In answer to your questions
1. I haven't tried baking with it but that is because the recipes that I am currently using don't call for shortening...but I'd be willing to give it a try if the need arose
2 I store it in the box that it came in and just keep it in my pantry. I sccop out enough to fill a big tupperware and work from that and then refill.
3. I don't remember the price off hand but I buy wholesale, so it's pretty inexpensive.
Hope this helps!
I use SYSCO, 50lbs for $29 and you live in San Jose so you can pick yours up in Fremont. No sales tax.
Here is a link to hi ration shortening that I posted. I had a few people who were interested in it. Hope it helps.
Itsacake, I am going to contact you soon. Home and work computers having been having a problem.
also, try this recipe it is pretty good.
3 cups of shortening (crisco or hi ratio, I prefer hi ratio now)
2 lbs of pow. sugar
1/4 cup of water - give or take more for stiff or smooth
2 tsp of flavoring (vanilla, almond, butter etc.) you can go 1 tsp van. and 1
tps of almond.
Mix shortening and pow. sugar together, then add water and flavoring.
Smooth nice with viva towels.
any question just ask. talk to you soon
Thanks for he info. I just talked to the folks at Bakemark Westco in Union City. They said I can pick up hi-ratio for $23.16 for 50 lbs and they faxed me a copy of their kosher certification. I can also get a product catalog and see if they have anything else that might be useful. My husband works in Fremont, and I want to get a bunch of stuff from Linton Paper in San Leandro so he will probably go to both places on a lunch hour. I also called Cakeworks and they would charge $80.00 for 50 lbs of the brand of hi-ratio they sell. I wish I could remember the brand. I think it starts with a "V".
I know I'm comparing wholesale to retail, but this huge price difference makes me nervous. I hope that when I have 50 lbs of this stuff, I won't find I don't like this brand. I do still have a message in at Bakemark Westco asking for some more product information.
Maybe eventually we could share 50 lbs and buy more frequently. I know iho-ratio has a shelf life of forever, but fresher has got to be better.
I'm looking forward to talking to you and meeting you soon! Don't stress. We will make it happen!