zespri Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 2:13am
post #1 of

hiya

I've never cooked with shortening before until joining this forum, always butter. Every time I use shortening, I end up with white lumps all through my batter.

I just made a cake, and this time used the defrost function of my microwave to soften it first. It was so soft parts of it had melted already. But I STILL have lumps in the batter.

What should I do? Can I melt the shortening instead?

23 replies
debbief Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 2:25am
post #2 of

Are you talking about cake batter or icing?

Are you creaming it with your mixer before adding the other ingredients? I'm not sure why else you would get lumps. maybe someone else knows better?

leah_s Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 2:27am
post #3 of

Sounds like you're simply not beating it enough.

kansaslaura Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 2:31am
post #4 of

I always cream my butter or shortening with sugar until it's fluffy for a batter or cookie dough. For frosting, I beat it until it's very smooth and fluffy and then add sugar.

Erin3085 Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 2:40am
post #5 of

I agree...sounds like you aren't beating enough of the buhgeezus out of it before you add your other ingredients. thumbs_up.gif

zespri Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 3:31am
post #6 of

this is the recipe I just made, it calls for the shortening to be added after all the other ingredients, so I don't actually cream it.....
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2165/a-better-white-scratch-cake

the last recipe I had this problem with DID call for it to be creamed first, but my mixer simply won't get the lumps out, no matter how long I beat it for. I went back to creaming by hand that time.

So do you reckon I could melt it instead of using it hard?

leah_s Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 4:01am
post #7 of

No don't melt it. That changes the recipe completely.

I'm fascinated that your mixer can't beat this batter properly, but you can cream sugar and shortening by hand.

zespri Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 4:11am
post #8 of

lol.... you may also be fascinated by how cheap it was compared to the kind of mixers I think most people on here use! I would love one of those lovely shiney red mixers, but here in New Zealand the cheapest I have seen them for is $900, and I can't justify that for a hobby. So I'll make do with the one I've got.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I'm fascinated that your mixer can't beat this batter properly, but you can cream sugar and shortening by hand.




Yep, I have stood there and watched the lumps get fed inbetween the beaters, and come out the other side unaffected. Of course the bigger lumps get dealt to, it's just the smaller ones.

One of the things I discovered when starting out on this cake obsession of mine is that you actually CAN cream with a machine! At school we were taught you must always cream by hand, so I'm just grateful I don't have to wreck my wrists!

kansaslaura Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 4:18am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

lol.... you may also be fascinated by how cheap it was compared to the kind of mixers I think most people on here use! I would love one of those lovely shiney red mixers, but here in New Zealand the cheapest I have seen them for is $900, and I can't justify that for a hobby. So I'll make do with the one I've got.




Have you checked eBay for a used mixer? Even a good used handmixer would be better than what you're having to use.

roweeena Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 5:06am

Do you mind if I ask why you are using shortening at all? New Zealand has got some of the best butter in the world, The recipe you are making is just like a butter cake. American butter and NZ butter tastes completely different, I think this is why alot of american recipes call for shortening as most dont like the strong buttery flavour.

And you dont need a KA, have a look around for a sunbeam or breville. They'll get you thru and you will find once you own one you'll find more excuses to use it!

zespri Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 5:16am

Don't mind at all!

I was trying to get the cake as white as possible, so was following the ingredients exactly. In case you were wondering, I wanted it white so I could tell if it would be suitable for a rainbow cake - the cake I made with butter was so yellow it distorted my colours.

The mixer I have is a sunbeam, but it's probably the basic briscoes model, nothing fancy! I'll just put a new mixer on the list of things my husband and I dream about buying when we've paid off the mortgage icon_wink.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by roweeena

Do you mind if I ask why you are using shortening at all? New Zealand has got some of the best butter in the world, The recipe you are making is just like a butter cake. American butter and NZ butter tastes completely different, I think this is why alot of american recipes call for shortening as most dont like the strong buttery flavour.

And you dont need a KA, have a look around for a sunbeam or breville. They'll get you thru and you will find once you own one you'll find more excuses to use it!


sweetheart6710 Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 5:49am

There is a product called the 'Beater Blade'. Its an attachment that looks like a flat beater for a stand mixer, but the edges have a spatula on it. Try looking it up online. I have one for my KA, but I know they offer it for other models of mixers. I know it helps smooth out lumps for me. Don't know if this will help in New Zealand, or the type of mixer you have, but I can't do without mine. Good luck!

doramoreno62 Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 6:15am

What if you cream the shortening seperately before adding it to the rest of the ingredients?

Nusi Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 7:54am

is the shortning room temperatue? mainly i think its your mixer.. there isnt much anyone can do about it honestly. cause shortning itself is soft "well at least for me it is" it doesnt take me that long to get it creamed.
another thing is i looked at your recipie.. u dont have to do it the way it says .. you can mix the dry ingreadiant alone ... cream the shortning with with a little bit of the liquid then add the rest of the dry and liqud and then the egg whites

kansaslaura Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 12:27pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by doramoreno62

What if you cream the shortening seperately before adding it to the rest of the ingredients?




Absolutley cream that shortening FIRST if you're having those kinds of problems.
If you want to follow the directions of the recipe, cream it in a seperate bowl to get all the lumps out, then add it as the recipe directs.

I'm begining to wonder if shortening in NZ is different than what we have in the states. Maybe you sitll have transfat and it's much more solid than what is found on the grocery store shelves here.

And don't heat it, but do have it at room temperature.

zespri Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 7:47pm

A lovely person has just told me that American shortening (crisco) is a way different consistency to what we get on this side of the world. The shortening I use is extremely hard, and I almost have to chip it away from the block. So I suspect that's why I've never seen a baking recipe here which includes shortening. It's good to know, so thought I'd tell you all in case you come across a similar question icon_smile.gif

kansaslaura Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 8:49pm

zespri, now you have me curious! What are the ingredients in the shortening you're using and what is the name? I'd love to look it up and learn more about it.

Isn't it amazing how things around the world differ??

zespri Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 9:12pm

that's not the half of it! I lived in America for about a year and a half, and was constantly amazed by the differences in things you would expect to be idential, like special K cornflakes - totally different!

The brand is Kremelta (made by Kellogg's). The ingredients are 'hardened coconut oil, soya bean leicithin'.

what does it say on your crisco?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kansaslaura

zespri, now you have me curious! What are the ingredients in the shortening you're using and what is the name? I'd love to look it up and learn more about it.

Isn't it amazing how things around the world differ??


kansaslaura Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 9:19pm

Crisco contains: SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM AND SOYBEAN OILS, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).

I had to look it up. I must say your Kremelta is in a much prettier container than our Crisco! icon_lol.gif

zespri Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 9:26pm

goodness, they're certainly not as similar as I had assumed, I don't even know what diglycerides and TBHQ are. I laughed when I read on the Kremelta ingredients 'hardened' coconut oil..... they've got that right, it's hard as rocks!

strathmore Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 8:47pm

What I do with the Kremelta is melt it in a pot, then let it cool till it is opaque and spoonable like softened butter but not set hard and add it to my butter for buttercream so I suppose you could do the same for your recipie.

zespri Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 10:06pm

ahh..... do you mean melt it on an element, or a pot inside a pot of water?

Have you tried the other brands? I see that my local supermarket has two other brands of shortening, I was all set to try them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by strathmore

What I do with the Kremelta is melt it in a pot, then let it cool till it is opaque and spoonable like softened butter but not set hard and add it to my butter for buttercream so I suppose you could do the same for your recipie.


strathmore Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 10:32pm

just in a pot on low till it melts then remove from the heat. I think you can get 'shreddo' I have not tried it. I did try chefade but that is animal product based (tallow) does not taste very nice !! the problem I am having at the moment is that my buttercream sets up too quickly even as i am spreading it it goes hard since its cold in my kitchen so have to keep beating it and adding hot milk

zespri Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 10:35pm

lol... you southlanders are hard, I'd be having a heater on in the kitchen! ooohh... maybe you could take to it with a hair-dryer when it starts to harden icon_wink.gif

Good to know about the shreddo, I think I'll just stick to your method rather than try the shreddo, glad you saw the thread, thanks icon_smile.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by strathmore

just in a pot on low till it melts then remove from the heat. I think you can get 'shreddo' I have not tried it. I did try chefade but that is animal product based (tallow) does not taste very nice !! the problem I am having at the moment is that my buttercream sets up too quickly even as i am spreading it it goes hard since its cold in my kitchen so have to keep beating it and adding hot milk


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