Since I am very new to cake decorating I have been reading and scouring information throughout these forums to try and learn from those of you that are quite experienced in the realm of decorating. Could someone explain to me how the transfat being removed from shortening has made a difference? Is it texture, durability, application or what? I had read that Richfood brand shortening still contained the transfat so I have purchased some. I have tried hi ratio shortening as well. I do not see a lot of difference in the end result but maybe I don't know what to look for. Any input is greatly appreciated.
By removing the fat liquids and colors don't mix well. Crisco says to add a little meringue powder to your frosting or even a little cornstarch or flour to counteract the change. You can also add some fat back into your frosting when using trans fat free shortening by using whole milk instead of water. Some bakers have also noted what they call the grease slick on the roof of your mouth when using Crisco. I have been using a trans fat free icing shortening that I purchase at my local cake supply store. If I am in a pinch I will use a store brand shortening that still contains a small amount of trans fat. I don't like adding meringue powder to my frosting's so I stopped using Crisco.
Some bakers have also noted what they call the grease slick on the roof of your mouth when using Crisco.
That grease slick has been present for years, long before the no-transfat episode. And not only in Crisco.
I knew as soon as I posted a response people would start to answer your question. This topic seems to touch a nerve with some people. Oh well. Buy both types of shortening and experiment that way you can see the difference first hand and decide for yourself. Have a great day.
Sorry, Jan. I actually didn't answer your original question. I simply stated that some people, my customers for instance, find all shortening (transfat and non-transfat) have that greasy aftertaste.
I use shortening in many of my products - always in buttercream and pie crusts. A few customers complained twenty years ago, and some complain now. There isn't much I can do about it since I like to use shortening. But it makes customers feel better to learn that Crisco is non-transfat. I agree with sweettreat101. Buy both types and experiment.
We started out using Sweetex hi ratio shortening, but when the trans fat ban went into effect in California we switched to Sweetex Z (zero trans fat). The only difference we noticed in our BC was that it was more temperature sensitive without the trans fat.
Our BC is dairy-free and is primarily shortening, powdered sugar, soy milk, and soy-based margarine.
Thank you all for your responses. I was just wondering if I was missing something obvious or just a matter of opinion. Jason_kraft I am very interested in your using soy products as that is all I use in my own home but never dreamed it could be used in my icing! So much to learn and so little time!!!
For me, the main difference is the durability of the icing in hot weather.
Without trans fats, the icing is softer to start with and it seems to "wilt" faster in higher temps. I don't think the emulsion holds as well when liquids, including colors, are added, either.
I use Sweetex and when directly compared with the Crisco I use for kneading into fondant, it's like comparing a stick of butter out of the fridge for 10 mins. to whipped margarine...........