My2Terrors Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 1:59am
post #1 of

Hi there,

I have noticed a lot of the recipes listed here use either Crisco or Shortening in them. Does anyone know what the equivalent would be over here in Australia for those?

We have shortening (called Copha) but it is a hard white vegetable based product looking like a hard fat product which melts to a clear liquid when heated. Is your shortening like butter or margarine?

Also, what is Crisco? We have a spray on oil based product here which can be used to grease your tins that is called Crisco but it's obviously not the same thing.

So, any physical descriptions of the products would be good, or anyone who has lived here and knows what our equivalents are called would be brilliant. Thank you! Kerry

57 replies
Melnick Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 2:09am
post #2 of

I am from Australia and I figured Copha is our closest substitute but apparently it isn't anything like Crisco. Another Aussie put me on to this website based in Melbourne which sells the Crisco http://www.usafoods.com.au/c14/cake-mixes-baking-chips-amp-flour/

ClassyMommy Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 2:09am
post #3 of

I am pretty sure by the way that you described Copha thats it! Ours is called Crisco (just by brand), but it is also called "all vegetable shortening." The ingredients are Partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils with vegetable mono and diglycerides. (Right off of the label!) It is kind of a thick white fat. I have heard that you can use all butter, but I haven't ever tried it.

Melnick Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 2:13am
post #4 of

Looks like I was told wrong about Crisco being very different! Thanks ClassyMommy. I wonder why recipes call for cups rather than weight? So much easier to weigh the Copha and get the right amount rather than melt it and hope for the best when you measure it!

Bunsen Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 2:47am
post #5 of

From what I have gathered from this site Crisco comes in tins and is quite soft - nothing like the hard blocks of copha so I don't think you could substitute it. Having said that I've never really used copha - does it soften at room temperature?

Can't help any further as I don't decorate with buttercream, maybe some other Aussies have recipes that work well over here?

My2Terrors Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 4:00am
post #6 of

Copha does soften a bit but not so much that you could mix it up or whatever. It's very solid stuff generally. It is often used to grease work surfaces and hands when working with sugarpaste if you want to avoid cornflour or icing sugar.

My2Terrors Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 4:06am
post #7 of

Other than the above use I've only ever known copha to be used to make chocolate crackles....not sure if you have them in the US...they're yummy things made of rice bubbles, coconut, cocoa, icing sugar and melted copha and are a staple part of any childs birthday party here. If you don't have choccy crackles and fairy bread, then it ain't no party!

Thanks for your help so far, I'm sure someone will come in who knows.....

ahuvas Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 11:20am
post #8 of

haha copha is what I use chocolate crackles for icon_smile.gif

Unless you are doing bulk baking, a 10 dollar tin of crisco will last you a really long time - I also buy from usa foods.

miss_sweetstory Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 11:59am
post #9 of

Hi Aussie friends. Crisco is the most popular US brand name of solid white vegetable fat. We (Americans) often just call it shortening. It is frequently used in baked goods as a substitute for part or all of the butter (particularly in cookbooks from the 70s...perhaps as a cost saving measure.) It is sold in a large tin and in smaller "sticks" and is generally stored at room temperature.

In the UK the comparable product is called Trex. It is sold in blocks in the refrigerated case at the grocery. When left at room temp is the same consistency as Crisco. (I have both in my house.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melnick

I wonder why recipes call for cups rather than weight? So much easier to weigh the Copha and get the right amount rather than melt it and hope for the best when you measure it!




In the US cooking measures are done by volume...but here is the catch: We differentiate between "dry" measures and "fluid" measures. The same measure, e.g., 1 cup - will have different volumes based on wether is is dry/solid or fluid/melted. We use different measuring cups for dry and fluid. In US recipes, shortening is always measured as a dry/solid in "dry" measuring cups. It is only melted if specifically stated in the recipe.

Awhile back I weighed Crisco for someone here on the board, My result was that 1 1/2 (one and one half cups) solid shortening weighs 278 grams. So one cup is about 185g.

Finally, I think weighing ingredients makes much more sense, and do it whenever I can.

nicolevoorhout Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:10pm

Try this information http://www.cakesandmore.org/blog/2008/08/shortening-crisco-copha-solite-cream-cup/

You can use copha, you need to melt it first, you can buy a product called solite here in Oz from some Cake Decorating suppliers and it is pretty much the closest equivalent to crisco. The US crisco for baking is NOT equivalent to our oil crisco! ;D

HTH

shazp4 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:12pm

Hi fellow Aussie

Yes Chrisco is similar to copha but depending on what you are making sometimes there are alternatives - as I found out from a post a while ago. One lovely Aussie lady gave me a buttercream recipe and advised to use cream cheese instead of the chrisco/shortening. It was fabulous, tasted brilliant and lasts forever in the fridge!

princess.gif

Melnick Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 12:27pm

Thanks miss_sweetstory. That was a GREAT explanation! I didn't know you guys have different measuring cups for dry and liquid ingredients! It seems so strange! It's all what you are use to I suppose! Thanks also for the conversion. I will find 185g far easier to work with!!!!

My2Terrors Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 9:19pm

Thank you all for your replies. I think I have a handle on this now and might even be brave enough to give it a try!

I will also grab some Solite next time I'm at my local cake decorating shop and give that a whirl too..

I knew I'd get the answers here!

Thank you again!

Febe Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 12:23am

Australian living in the US here.

CRISCO and COPHA are no where equivalent. Crisco is very soft and does not set up like copha does and it has a really awful taste to it. And you definitely can't use it for Chocolate Crackles. I would be very careful subsituting copha for crisco in some of these recipes.

6666 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 2:35am

Hi all
I know this is an old thread but just wanted to say thanks for the link to
http://www.usafoods.com.au/

I have been looking for crisco in melbourne for a long time and have now found it at this shop, went there yesterday and got a tin, also came out with slabs of Dr pepper cherry, bottle of peanut butter and jelly , and a bunch of other stuff, shop was packed with people.

cheers

Vikki69 Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 4:45am

Omega Nutrition's Coconut Oil DOES THE TRICK! I looked all over and tried this as Copha is coconut oil and shortening is vegitable oil and DOESN"T do the job and tastes bad! This worked well. There are other brands of coconut oil and would imagine that they would work too. Same stuff different brand. I can just say that the Omeaga Nutrition Coconut Oil is a FANTASTIC SUBSTITUTE for COPHA, for Australians on the American continent to make chocolate crackles and the likeicon_biggrin.gif

be218 Posted 19 May 2011 , 6:31am

I know this is an old thread, but I am making a cake for my friends 18th I was wondering if you could use Copha in fondant icing instead of crisco?
Thanks

Evoir Posted 19 May 2011 , 8:51am

Do you need to melt the Crisco in the fondant recipe you have? If so, then melted and then re-solidified copha (which is solid coconut oil) would yield a far harder fondant end result. Can you use butter instead? Crisco at room temperature is slightly firmer than butter at room temperature. I use it for greasing my hands when working with fondant. and adding to gumpaste that has dried out a bit too much.

Is there any reason why you don't just buy some Orchard White off the shelf at Coles? Or get some premade fondant from a cake decorator supply store?

be218 Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:01am

no it just says to grease my hands and the benchtop with it so the fondant doesnt stick - and i dont want to buy pre=packaged stuff, its never as nice as freshly made - plus my friend doesnt like people buying her presents, this is my way of getting around that

medusas_touch Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:18am
Quote:
Originally Posted by be218

no it just says to grease my hands and the benchtop with it so the fondant doesnt stick - and i dont want to buy pre=packaged stuff, its never as nice as freshly made - plus my friend doesnt like people buying her presents, this is my way of getting around that




If its only to stop it from sticking to your bench and hands, then it shouldn't be a problem. You won't need to melt it, just keep it at room temperature and use as needed. HTH

be218 Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:27am
Quote:
Originally Posted by medusas_touch

Quote:
Originally Posted by be218

no it just says to grease my hands and the benchtop with it so the fondant doesnt stick - and i dont want to buy pre=packaged stuff, its never as nice as freshly made - plus my friend doesnt like people buying her presents, this is my way of getting around that



If its only to stop it from sticking to your bench and hands, then it shouldn't be a problem. You won't need to melt it, just keep it at room temperature and use as needed. HTH


THANK YOU icon_biggrin.gif

zespri Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:54am

Have you ever looked at the ingredients of Crisco compared to Copha? Be glad you've got Copha, there are a ton of unnatural yucky things in Crisco. If you want the Copha to be soft, you can soften it like butter. Or if it's really cold, melt it down in a saucepan then wait for it to firm up until it's the consistency you like.

NancyBeryl Posted 30 Oct 2011 , 1:48am

In Sydney, Crisco is available locally from the food hall at David Jones in the city. I've bought it there for years. If it's inconvenient to go there, when you do go, buy several and freeze them.

Not sure if other DJ food halls stock this, so call.

They also carry other American products such as canned pumpkin, if you want to make a pumpkin pie for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

shanter Posted 30 Oct 2011 , 3:03am

I don't know that this is relevant to this thread, but it is about measuring Crisco (I'm in the US). Because Crisco is a "soft solid" (if that's a legitimate description) fat, I learned from my mom to measure it in water. That is, say you need one cup of Crisco. You take a 2-cup measuring cup. Put one cup of water in it. Then put Crisco in until the water comes up to the 2-cup measure (make sure that the Crisco is underwater. Then pour the water out making sure there is only a drop or two caught on the Crisco. (We always did this with a clear glass 2-cup measuring cup.)

It is much easier to get the Crisco out of the cup that way than if you just tried to stuff Crisco into a 1-cup measure without any air bubbles and then get it all out once it's stuck to the cup. I don't know if the water-displacement method works for other kinds of fat. It probably would work for butter, but butter in the UW is easy to measure by stick or by tablespoon (the tablespoon measurements are marked on the wrapper of the stick of butter and one stick is one-half cup).

When I was growing up, we didn't cook or bake by weight. I'm still doing things the way my mom taught me. icon_smile.gif

Megan1979 Posted 30 Oct 2011 , 3:23am

I have used copha in buttercream when I first started decorating as I didn't know what to substitute for crisco and I WOULD NOT receommend it. Is is so hard and doesnt mix properly and you get lumpy bits of fat (gross). I now only use it to grease my board when modelling.

The stuff you need is a whipped vegetable shortening. I get mine from Carolines in SA and its called Sno Creme Shortening. I have searched it everywhere and only cake decorating shops seem sell it. You could probably approach a supplier however they usually require bulk orders. This shortening makes great buttercream.

zespri Posted 30 Oct 2011 , 4:15am

I think I read up above that copha is made of coconut oil, right? So is what we can get here in NZ, Kremelta. The first time I tried using it I had the same result as you Megan, lumps in my icing... DISGUSTING. Then the next time it was summer, and a lot softer, so I just beat it a bit first before using it.... beautiful! Then when winter came, I melted it down in a saucepan, then left it sitting there until it had set to a consistency similar to butter, and that of course was perfect to work with.

So you CAN use Copha, just not as easily as crisco. And really, if I had the choice between the two I'd take the coconut oil every time. Crisco is full of all sorts of ingredients, Kremelta only has two, coconut oil and leicethin.

auzzi Posted 30 Oct 2011 , 8:59am

For icings:
1. melt butter gently until liquid.
2. melt copha until totally liquid.
3. mix the two fats together until well blended.
4. let the mixture solidify.
5. beat the blend to a cream adding icing sugar and flavouring as you go ..

Australian Decorators Buttercream Recipe uses a butter to copha ratio of 1:1. You can also use 2:1 or even 3:1.

Solite is a example of an AU cake decorator's shortening. You can also use "Bakery Fats and SHortenings" which come from foodservice suppliers.

For example: Goodman Fielder's Foodservice
http://www.gffoodservice.com.au/brandsproducts/default.aspx#bakeryfats

My local cake shop uses Pilot shortenings for their cakes and pastries..

FYI: 1 US cup crisco shortening weighs 192g/6.7oz [from website]

Megan1979 Posted 30 Oct 2011 , 9:15am

Thanks Auzzi. That is fantastic. I never thought about doing that way icon_smile.gif

foodieporn75 Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 3:57pm

shortening is clarified pig fat

ask you butcher for 1kg pork fat scraps place in a muslin bag in a large pot cover in 10lt of water simmer till water is reduced by half making sure bag is still submerged allow to cool fat will solidify on top of the water scrape of into a clean pan over a low heat melt fat and allow water to evaporate pore into a clean butter mould or clean jar or container

auzzi Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 11:05pm

Lard is pig fat. Lard may be used in pastry making, but rarely is these days. It is not used in cake baking, frosting or icing. Lard is mainly used in cooking.

Shortening is a fat or oil - lard, butter, margarine, oleo, and every edible oil [both solid or liquid] is a shortening. It can be made of purely or either an animal or vegetable product or a mixture of both.

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