Shortening Discussion

Decorating By tpatmore Updated 5 Oct 2010 , 8:21pm by Loucinda

tpatmore Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 6:11pm
post #1 of 10

I have just started doing cakes so I am looking for the opinions of some veterans/experts.
I was making BC with Crisco and of course having major issues with it. So I turned to CC for advice and realized I had to use hi ratio.
I have been hestitate to take the plunge and order some online and I thought I scored when I found a local store brand had 3g of Trans fat. I wanted to see how that compared to HR, so I did some research, only to find out hi-ratio has 22g of trans fat.(ouch, my arteries clog just saying that) However, I made sugarshack's bc with the store brand and it turned out better then anything I have done so far.

Now my dilemna, do I stick with the store brand or should I still go ahead and try hi-ratio. In the opinions of all you experts out there, will it be even better than the brand with 3g of trans fat.


9 replies
leily Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 6:18pm
post #2 of 10

I believe this is like a scratch vs box debate. You have to do what works best for you. (although this topic isn't brought up as much as the other)

Personally i have better luck with the store brand shortening when decorating and it wins hands down in the taste test than Hi-ratio. But this is in my business. I also only tried two different recipes with hi-ratio and believe that i may just need to try some other ones to see if i can find something that works.

However the big thing for me is that I also have to order hi-ratio and the cost of it plus shipping just isn't really feasible for me, so i'm of the mindset of "if it's not broke don't fix it" so i keep my cost down and my customers are still happy.

TrixieTreats Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 6:26pm
post #3 of 10

I think Leily is right, it is definitely one of those things where you will likely find an equal number of people on each side. I do think you have to consider the additional cost, especially since you have to order it online. I personally prefer the appearance, texture and taste of the buttercream I make with hi-ratio. Though, I have the convenience of a cake supply store within about 10 miles of me. So, other than the cost difference (regular shortening is about $3-$6 for 3lbs, hi-ratio is $10.50 for 3lbs in my area) I don't have the huge inconvenience of actually obtaining it. I would say, go for it and order it and give it a shot. I personally think you will like the end result when using it. But, I must say, it may be one of those things that you will not be able to go back once you try it. So, right don't know what you are missing, and if your current recipe works for you, there is really no need to go there necessarily. Many people swear by Crisco based recipes, many successful cakers. Others are the same about hi-ratio.

GeminiCake Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 6:40pm
post #4 of 10

I would test out the Hi-ratio. I've tried both. They both came out smooth, but of course I thought the hi ratio was better (maybe it was in my mind though). But as a hobby baker, I just cant afford to buy the Hi ratio. It's $9.99 for a 3 lb tub at my local cake store.

PuffCake Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 7:36pm
post #5 of 10

I use Sweetex brand hi-ratio shortening and it has 3g trans fat per Tablespoon. In my opinion, hi-ratio, especially Sweetex brand, is much much better than Crisco, but I have never used store brands before so I can't help you there. I think you should try the hi-ratio just so you can compare, then decide.

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 7:40pm
post #6 of 10

You know what's really creepy? Try washing out your utensils and tips after you've had hi rat shortening in them. That stuff just does not melt.

TexasSugar Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 7:54pm
post #7 of 10

Hi-Ratio shortening and Trans fats are two seperate issues. Having trans fat does not High Ration make.

IndyDebi's recipe works great with crisco. I've used crisco with the Wilton recipe with out any issues as well. So you can use non trans fat shortening for icing.

I actually didn't like the icing when I used store brand. That was the one time I really had that cloying coat your mouth feeling from icing.

yummy_in_my_tummy Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 8:04pm
post #8 of 10

I usually use store brand, but ran out this weekend. I had to send my boyfriend out last minute to get some shortening, and figured it was just easy to tell him CRISCO instead of explain the whole store brand thing to him! So I used that out of desperation and it worked pretty well. I was pleased. I haven't used Hi Ratio but I'd be interested to hear how it compares to store brand or Crisco...

gatorcake Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 8:19pm
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Hi-Ratio shortening and Trans fats are two seperate issues. Having trans fat does not High Ration make.

Correct, hi ratio shortening is better known as emulsified shortening was made for hi ratio cakes, which refers to the amount of water/sugar per amount of flour.

Emulsified shortening has emulsifiers (which are distinct from transfat as there are hi ratio shortenings without transfats) which allows a batter to hold more water, because it holds more water it can hold more sugar. The increase in water and sugar (along with the emulsifiers) increases the moistness, tenderness, and shelf-life of a batter. Emuslfied shortening simply took the name of the kind of cake it was designed for--one made with a from a hi-ratio formula.

Thus which one to use is frankly not the same as scratch v box as someone mentioned--it is more than a taste preference. Hi-ratio shortenings are designed to hold more liquid which will impact whether a buttercream is made with an emulsified shortening or not.

I am curious where this association of hi ratio = transfat came from. Have even been to cake supply stores that sell hi ratio shortenings and advertsie them as being hi ratio because they have transfats.

Loucinda Posted 5 Oct 2010 , 8:21pm
post #10 of 10

There is a difference in even the brands of hi-ratio. I used to use Alpine, then I tried Sweetex. HUGE difference in the sugarshack recipe using the sweetex vs. the alpine. (NO air bubbles)

Only you can decide which is best. To be fair to yourself - try both and then make the decision yourself. That is what I did.

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