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Author Topic: 'Shortening' here in England?  (Read 34482 times)
ALB1970
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« on: December 27, 2008, 05:10:10 PM »

We decided to make chocolate chip cookies today and all the ingredients were fairly easy to find except "shortening" because I just didn't know the English equivalent...

So what is the English equivalent?

Thanks in advance
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MsB
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2008, 05:13:41 PM »

Flora White or Trex will usually work in place of shortening.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 05:17:05 PM by MrsRichUK » Logged

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ALB1970
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2008, 05:31:50 PM »

Thank you such a quick answer we will go and get some flora white...
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Shauna Skye
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009, 12:50:44 PM »

Thanks. I've been wanting an answer to this too. Is Flora White or Trex in the butter section?

I ended up getting some stuff that looked like margarine back home, but I don't think it will be great to make southern style biscuits with. Need something more like Crisco.
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chary
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2009, 12:56:43 PM »

Thanks. I've been wanting an answer to this too. Is Flora White or Trex in the butter section?

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Cadenza
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2009, 04:25:08 PM »

I find I have to look in the really big Tescos and ASDAs to find Flora White, but I find it to be closest to Crisco.  It's softer and easier to work with like Crisco, whereas many of the other baking fats are much harder.  It's worth keeping your eyes out, but you won't find it as often as it's one of their less popular products.  I always pick some up when I'm getting low and keep it in the fridge.
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CharmCityGirl
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2009, 07:49:41 PM »

I always find Flora White at Sainsbury's and our shop in Bath isn't even one of the bigger ones.
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Mrs. Tykeman
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2009, 12:43:01 AM »

Yeah, I ran into the same situation, but by asking my DH and sister-in-law, was told that Stork or Trex.  So far, I've used Stork and it works well. 
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medivisas
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 12:34:24 PM »

Can I ask a question of those who bake with US and UK recipes?

Obviously UK recipes don't call for shortening, so does it really make a difference?  The odd Nigella recipe does but she gives an alternative, usually just more butter, and I am wondering if my baking would be improved if I used this stuff.

Also, is shortening/UK substitutes vegetarian?  I remember picking up a tub of white Flora once and being incredibly grossed out to find it contained pig fat!


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Elynor
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 12:39:15 PM »

Obviously UK recipes don't call for shortening, so does it really make a difference?  The odd Nigella recipe does but she gives an alternative, usually just more butter, and I am wondering if my baking would be improved if I used this stuff.
Noooooo! Definitely not. Shortening is supposed to make pie crusts easier to handle, but mostly it's used because it's a lot cheaper than butter. Vile stuff.

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Also, is shortening/UK substitutes vegetarian?  I remember picking up a tub of white Flora once and being incredibly grossed out to find it contained pig fat!
Shortening is hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fats and all.  Tongue Dunno about UK substitutes, as I stopped using shortening long before I moved here.
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Elliejean
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 12:50:22 PM »

I think Trex is vegetarian.  I suspect it uses palm oil, which is solid at room temp rather than using partially hydrogenated fats at this point.  But I don't use it either, I just use butter.  It also was brought out as an alternative to using old-fashioned lard in pastry, as shortening has a longer shelf life (unnatural stuff....shudder). 
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 12:53:20 PM »

I remember picking up a tub of white Flora once and being incredibly grossed out to find it contained pig fat!


I don't know if it used to contain pig fat, but it doesn't now. According to the Flora website (and as my memory serves), it's "suitable for vegetarians and vegans."
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medivisas
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2009, 01:20:57 PM »

It wasn't white Flora, my mistake...

"Flora and Flora pro-activ Light and Ultra Light are not suitable for vegetarians, as they contain gelatine"

Bleugh.

Thanks for the other pointers.  I shall continue to bake with full-fat unsalted butter, and be happier and healthier as a result.  Palm oil indeed!  Angry  Not in *my* cakes!


Vicky
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Cadenza
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2009, 08:31:11 PM »

In many kinds of things, it really is just fine to use interchangeably.  Any recipe should work with some kind of fat, be that butter or shortening.  The main difference comes out when you are looking at pastries like pie crusts.  Butter tends to be somewhat more flavourful, but you get a lighter, flakier crust with shortening.  In things like cookies, I'll often use butter even if it calls for shortening, but many US recipes for different pastries, I prefer shortening.

Oh, and they are right, shortening and Flora White are both vegetable fats and vegetarian happy.
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Mrs. Tykeman
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2009, 10:30:59 PM »

I was under the impression that butter would make your cookies more brown when when baking. 
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