I am loving this site and getting such a lot of helpful tips but I really want to use some of the delicious recipes you refer too and am not sure about the cup sizes and weights. I am in the UK and use ounces or grammes, is there an eay way to accurately convert the recipes?
Heres a few basic conversions
1 cup granulated sugar= 8oz
1 cup AP flour= 4oz
1 cup crisco=about 7oz
Hopefully that can get you started.
Thank you Peg!
What is crisco?
Crisco is a lard substitute.
Odd Historical Note: Crisco was started in 1911 by Procter & Gamble. Orignally it was created as a substitute from animal fat for making candles, but then electricity made that idea defunct, they then heavily marketed as a lard product.
the British equivalent of Crisco is Trex. You can get it in all the leading supermarkets, Tesco, sainsbury's Morrisons etc. It's next to all the butter/marg products in a white box, I think the writing is blue.
It's a white vegetable fat, and is not the same as lard, which is an animal fat.
It's a very useful and versatile product, I use it instead of icing sugar to lightly coat the work surface when rolling out fondant, to stop it sticking. my hands used to get sooo dry with the icing sugar, this stuff is a revelation!
You can also use it right in your recipes, both for buttercream (it gives a pure white frosting, as opposeed to the yellowish colour you get when using marg or real butter) and as a substitute for marg.
As for weight and measurement conversions, the Good housekeeping cupcake book (which I found at Sainsburys for the bargain price of £1.50!) has a great wee chart in the back cover which I use all the time. It even has the conversion for pan sizes from cm to inches. I got mine about a month ago, so they should still be selling them. i found mine in the baking goods aisle, next to the flour. It's a pocket A5 size.
Wow, mama, thank you so much for all that information.
What does the buttercream taste like made with trex? Top tip to use it when rolling out gumpaste etc though. I usually use it for making pastry!
Do you do half and half with butter so you get some flavour?
I will check out sainsburys for the book, thank you!
thank you all for all your info on weights ,measure conversion this is so helpful as i myself have a few let downs if anyone can add any more to this im sure all uk bakers will be really happy,I will try and get to tesco t/morrow and hope i can get one many many thanks.
No probs, happy to help
I have to admit though, that I've not actually personally tried the trex in buttercream yet, but hope to soon, so I'll let you all know how it goes when I do. So far I've been using Sugarflair whitener powder to get the white frosting.
I have however used it to replace marg/butter in an actual cake, and it was just fine, nobody noticed any difference, and a little goes a long way.
I do know that many very experienced US bakers swear by using crisco in their baking and frosting, particularly indydebi, and swear by it. I think it was the thread about the butter prices that I read that.
If anyone has any trouble finding the cupcake book, then feel free to pm me, and i can copy the info for you, it shouldn't take too long to do. It's worth checking out though, there's some really nice easy recipes in there.
Oh, and I noticed that Sainsbury's are now stocking golden icing sugar, which is great for fudgy icing and frostings. I couldn't get it anywhere before.
When converting volume measurements from different countries, it's critical to know that the sizes of the cups vary greatly:
One cup equals:
U.S. = 237 milliliters (legal cup is 240 ml)
U.K. = 284 milliliters
Australia = 250 milliliters
The measuring spoons aren't so different but the AU tablespoon contains 4 teaspoons!
Here's a link to an UK, AU & American conversions thread:
I found the volume conversions to be such a nightmare that I broke down and paid BIG bucks to purchase AU measuring cups and spoons. Might have to do the same if I want to try UK recipes, too.
Now when I come across cookbooks that have recipes which are obviously from AU or UK (and give ingredient weights in both metric and oz. measurements) but use "1 cup of milk" for liquid, for example - I know it's not an American 8 oz. cup that they're referring to!
Really wish all baking cookbooks were written in weight measurements (even if they included the volume equivalent for that region).
most recipe books have conversion charts, or else search on google, and a few sites come up. my feeling is to use the same chart/ site for a whole recipe, incase they have measured/ converted things differently to the next site/ chart.
i love my trex based bc (indydebis), as does everyone thats had it. the only thing is its way, way less common in the uk than real butter based bc. and lets face it, youd rather eat a poud of butter than trex. but most people dont ask so i dont tell! however, you must describe it as frosting, not bc, or else trading standards would be after you, if you sell your cakes!
I saw cupcakes for sale in Greggs the bakers today, and they looked like they had the trex based frosting on them. It was far too white looking to be derived from butter. Hmmm, I think I may pop in tomorrow and buy a couple just to see!
I don't usually buy those type of cakes from bakers, as I always argue with myself that I can make my own! But it may be worth the experiment, just to see. If I'm feeling brave enough, I may ask the girl in there what the frosting is made from!
I am so grateful for all your replies - so interesting and so much to learn.
I have bought my trex!
Do I use half butter half trex or all trex? Does it not taste fatty/lardy? Do you still flavour it with vanilla etc?
Do you all recommend buying cups then so as not to convert recipes?
I am off to Sainsburys tomorrow to get my book and some golden icing sugar, nom nom!!
Good idea mama .... think I will look in Greggs too! Just to taste the white frosting, bet theirs is made from really cheap ingredients!
14september,mamad7princessb,janh at last we are getting somewhere iv looked at loads but cant work it out (my maths at school were terrible im ashamed to say)but thank you all,
I know, that's why I never buy cakes now, like so many cakers, I've become a bit of a cake snob!
I looked at the cupcakes when I was in there today, (buying rolls!!), and wondered at the ingredients. These are selling there for I think it was 55p per cake, and that includes those plastic novelty things on each one too. So the ingredients must be cheap. Or they must go by the pile em high sell em cheap philosophy, (of course they do!).
I'm off down that way in the morning anyway, (off to Tesco for sparklers for tomorrow night) so I think I'll buy myself some trex, and a couple of the Greggs cupcakes just to compare. The kids will eat them.
I'm not sure about the ratio of butter/trex, I think there are some recipes that do that. Indydebi's and sugarshacks are all shortening. May be a worthwhile experiment, the trex is so much cheaper!
Hello mamad77 does asda or sainsbury!s or tesco do indydebi!s is this what you use as shortening.
flowergirl1, I can't work it out either, although depends what time of day it is, I may just be too lazy, ask me again in the morning! It's just a bit too late at night now.
Which I think is my cue to drag my lazy behind up to bed, the baby will be up at 6.15am It used to be 7:15, but the clocks have changed and I aint seeing any benefit of that so called "extra hour"
also meant to thank peg,and prinsessb,
OOPs! didn't mean ask me in morning re latest post! that was in response to previous post!
Yep, they all do it, it's just Trex, that's the British brand name for shortening, we have trex, US have Crisco.
Catch you girls tomorrow, I'm off to boo boo now
ok mamad77 been their i know what it!S like dont envy you g/nite
Yep mama, being new on here I hadn't a clue what indydeb was but now I know!!
So I need to add dream topping to my shopping list too! The recipe is all in cups though, so I will need to start converting/
Not sure I am brave enough to use all trex first time, think I may try half butter, once I have worked out a UK recipe I will post it on here!
Thank you all!
Hi 14 september meant to thank you last night,i have been trying for a while to sort this out as i told mamad im hopeless at maths,im off to sainsburys to try and get my book if i can get it i will pick you up one and post it on to you .
Flowergirl - that is so kind of you, I really apppreciate that.
If we can get the cup conversion thing right, there will be loads of new recipes to try!!
This forum is so addictive ..... I spent hours on here last night reading such fabulous posts and learning SO much!
Hi 14september leaving as soon as my daughter comes we will get there in the end,
meant to ask you have you tried the (britishsugarcraftguild)it!s fab a wealth of info andhow to they are all really nice the info is fab.
so sorry didnt realise i forgot will talk later.
Just wanted to add if you are used to a all butter, buttercream then do try using 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening.
Many of the all shortening recipes also use a butter flavoring. I use a 1/2 and 1/2 recipe so don't know whats the best brand of butter flavoring out there.
Thanks for that. I didn't know there was such a thing as butter flavouring!
Will try half and half this weekend, perhaps make a small amount just in case I hate it!
Oh, and I noticed that Sainsbury's are now stocking golden icing sugar, which is great for fudgy icing and frostings.
Have never heard of this but sounds good, will need to get some and give it a go.