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Old 11-03-2008, 04:21 AM   #1
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Substituting ingredients in Italy for an American cake recipe?

I am in Italy and need to know what I can use to substitute some ingredients that I have no idea what they are here or their uses - I'm baking some cakes:

Crisco (what is it anyway?)
Buttermilk (for use in cake)
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Cocoa Powder
Cream of Tartar powder

thank you in advance


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Old 11-03-2008, 06:54 AM   #2
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Howdy amd welcome to DC!!
Crisco is simply a brand of solid vegetable shortening. It resembles lard but is not made from animal fat. If dietary concerns about saturated fat is not an issue, I would substitute lard.
Buttermilk, traditionally, was a term used for the liquid left behind after churning whole milk to make butter. Cultured buttermilk, which is what is found in most supermarkets, is made by adding lactic acid bacteria to milk. Without getting too technical, this raises the Ph of the milk and causes the milk clabber, which is why it is thicker than whole milk.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder are leavening agents (Yeast is a leavening agent, too) added to flour to cause, in this case, cake to rise.
Cocoa powder is a dried, granulated form of chocolate.
Cream of Tartar is made from the sediment produced during wine production.
Tartartic acid is found in grapes. Added to egg whites to help stablize and give more volume when beaten. It is also used to produce a creamier texture in frostings and candy.
I hope this will help a little.
I am sure that there are others here with more in depth information.
Again, Welcome to DC!

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Old 11-03-2008, 07:02 AM   #3
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Howdy Hoot, Thanks.
So i must change my recipe then b/c there's nothing here like lard or shortening. I know I can use the butter but there's nothing to sub. for buttermilk. I was trying to make a nice chocolate cake with layers and choc. icing, but I can't get that milk. Your descriptions are /were helpful, i don't think I'l;l mess about with bacteria though :o)
Though there are plenty of those vermins here in italy.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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Here is a site you can visit for a list of substitutions:

Common Substitutions - Allrecipes

I don't know though, if these all will interchange with all recipes.

You say you are in Italy. What town? I'm sure in the cities you could find what you need. Or perhaps a bakery supply location near you. You may have to buy in bulk though, but everything you've listed stores well, and you can refridgerate the Crisco also.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:17 AM   #5
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alm, you can make a suitable substitute for buttermilk, for cake baking, by adding 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of sweet (regular) milk. Just stir in the vinegar to the milk.
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