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Old 08-26-2009, 04:27 PM   #1
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Butter vs Shortening

In many recipes these ingredients seem to be interchangeable but I'm not sure how each effect the outcome.

For example I'm going to make a Red Velvet cake on the weekend. Some recipes call for butter, others for shortening plus butter flavoring. So why wouldn't I just use butter in the first place if that's the flavor the recipe is going for?

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Old 08-26-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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The only thing you'll have to watch for is the salt. Use unsalted butter in place of solid shortening.

In my experience, except for making pie crust, unsalted butter and solid shortening are mostly interchangeable. And more often than not, I prefer the butter. It will give a richer flavor, but sometimes you don't want that and solid shortening is simply more appropriate. It really comes down to what you are making.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I always use unsalted butter, I prefer to control the amount by adding it myself (if required).

Buttermilk biscuits seem to spark the biggest debate. I always using butter as I always have it in but some swear by shortening saying it gives a more crumbly texture.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sypher View Post
...Buttermilk biscuits seem to spark the biggest debate. I always using butter as I always have it in but some swear by shortening saying it gives a more crumbly texture.
I must confess, I prefer Lard for making biscuits.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I must confess, I prefer Lard for making biscuits.
Ditto!
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sypher View Post
In many recipes these ingredients seem to be interchangeable but I'm not sure how each effect the outcome.

For example I'm going to make a Red Velvet cake on the weekend. Some recipes call for butter, others for shortening plus butter flavoring. So why wouldn't I just use butter in the first place if that's the flavor the recipe is going for?

You might experience a difference in texture between the two fats. Butter will give you a more compact product while shortening will give you a lighter and more moist product.

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