I am writing from Australia where we don't have Crisco or an equivalent vegetable shortening available at the local supermarket. We do have a product called Copha which is made from coconut fat, but it is quite hard and has a flavour that can overwhelm other ingredients.
Can anyone suggest a readily available alternative to use in buttercream?
Also, while we're on the topic: an alternative to meringue powder?
There isn't an Aussie alternative to crisco (copha will work for some things but not really in icing) - you can get hold of crisco - it is stocked in some shops that sell US imports (I'm in Sydney and have seen it in DJ's and the lolly shop under Myers in the city that sells UK/US stuff (sorry the name escapes me!)) and, I kid you not, in sex shops!
The other alternative is to try a meringue based buttercream - all the ingredients are readily available and they taste divine!
As for meringue powder, some cake supply shops do have it and I think the magic egg pavlova mix works too.
the uk version is called trex. as for an alternative to use in buttercream - try butter! if its hot, maybe you can use half copha half butter so its more stable, and hopefully the butter flavour will balance out the coconut.
Hi Cakesaurus, I'm in sydney too and have often wondered about crisco. There's a shop at Castle Hill called Cake Decorating Central that has a product that is very similar but the name of it escapes me at the moment.
im in aus too; i use copha all the time; never really have a problem with it.=) maybe coz im a bit heavy handed with other flavouring tho...
meringue powder use pavlova magic. it comes in an egg shaped container and is usually where the jelly and such is.. sometimes hiding behind the pole..lol.. its a bout $3 for the thing i think... =)
Hi there! I use a white buttercream base called EOI "So-Lite" which is available in bulk (15kg) from food suppliers, and also from cake decorating shops in smaller tubs. It comes in all-vegetable, or a tropical version called So Lite Tropical, which has animal fat in it too. If I am using a non-meringue based BC, I use this product 50/50 with butter. Tastes fine.
Meringue powder is different to Pavlova Magic (which has more additives), and it again can be bought from cake decorating supply shops (online even). Its commercial name is "Acti-White" and it comes in bulk also.
There is another all-vegetable solid fat similar to Crisco, and also a 'high ratio' shortening available in Oz, but the name escapes me right now! If you want to know, just ping me and I'll look it up