We were recently forced to switch from Sweetex to Sweetex Z shortening for our buttercream frosting, thanks to California's new zero trans fat law. Unfortunately the buttercream made with Sweetex Z gets runny very quickly at room temperature and cannot be used for decorating.
How have other pastry chefs been dealing with this issue? Based on what I've read others have been adding meringue or dream whip, but many of our customers have egg and dairy allergies. We currently make the frosting with shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and soy-based margarine.
Part of the problem might be that Sweetex Z is based on palm oil. Has anyone else tried other zero trans fat shortenings for buttercream? I've been looking at Vreamay (palm and soybean oil) or Clear Valley (canola and cottonseed oil), but I wanted to get some opinions before we buy in bulk.
Clear Valley: http://www.cargill.com/food/na/en/products/oils-shortenings/cake-icing-filling-shortenings/index.jsp
Let Them Eat Cake, The Allergy-Friendly Patisserie LLC
I'm sort of new at doing large cakes, but using no trans fats is important to our clientele. So far, I've used Earth Balance shortening in sugarshack's recipe for buttercream. It holds up pretty good, but isn't going to withstand major heat. I am planning to try Spectrum. Please let me know if you find one that works better. Thanks!
Dream whip has transfat in it, BTW.
I would recommend Spectrum also.
We already use Spectrum for our soy-free frosting (Spectrum is palm oil), but the flavor and texture of the buttercream made with Sweetex is far superior, and the Spectrum palm oil shortening has its own set of issues (for example, it doesn't take to red or black food coloring).
Interesting idea on Earth Balance shortening, but I've actually never seen it at any of the local Whole Foods where we buy the Earth Balance vegan margarine.
Another option could be adding an icing stabilizer. For example, Stabili-Creme is made with corn starch, dextrose (sugar), and polysorbate 60 (an emulsifier).
Has anyone used a product like this?