Strawberry powder vs strawberry butter
Posted: 19 May 2011 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello. Has anyone here tried both in a similar application and prefer one over the other?

I ask this because I’ve stocked up with strawberry butter jars and I love it. I’ve been using it as a delicious syrup for pancakes (after diluting it with a little bit of water), and also in several other ways. But I have seen Anne in NC constantly raving about strawberry powder, and how she uses it instead of strawberry butter to make the strawberry buttercream/mousseline.

Is it better or just about the same? Does it also have other applications (besides adding to milkshakes), such as making pancake syrup, for example?

I’m considering stocking up with strawberry powder as well.

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Posted: 19 May 2011 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi,  Jose!

I haven’t tried the strawberry butter, but I hear it’s excellent. 

What I like about the powders (which is actually freeze dried fruit that I powdered with my food processor) is that, because there is no liquid with them, you can add what amounts to much more actual fruit to your buttercream. Also, they have no sugar, so they don’t affect the sweetness (except that, depending upon your taste, you might need to add more sugar to offset the fruit’s tartness—I didn’t).  Finally, because you can add so much, you get great color without using any food coloring.  Also, they don’t thin the consistency, if that holds any importance.  You could use it to color frosting for a rose without using food coloring (if the flavor would blend), and still have a very thick mousseline to pipe, for example.

That said, there’s no reason you can’t use the strawberry butters and then, if you wish it had more strawberry ‘punch’ (and maybe it’s perfect as is), you can add freeze dried fruit powder—so you can use them together, as well.

FWIW, I’ve found both the Crispy Fruit brand and Today’s Farm brands to be really good.  The bulk ones from Nutsonline.com are not quite as good.  The Juststrawberries brand (that also makes blueberries, etc.) is very good, but their packaging somehow allows humidity in so it doesn’t keep them super-crisp for a long time (unless they’ve changed it), and the crisper they are, the easier they powder.  The ‘pouches’ seem to be the best packaging for long-term crispiness, and the plastic containers the worst.

Another nice thing about the butters is you get a nice “uncooked” fruit flavor (maybe same with butters, etc.) and there’s lots of flavors, depending on the brand.  I’ve used strawberry and banana, but I plan to also use Asian Pear, apricot and peach in buttercreams.  Here’s a link to my post where I used the banana:  http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/3364/

They can be a little expensive.  I’ve found it costs about $9 of freeze-dried fruit to flavor 6 cups of mousseline (it takes about 1/2 ounce fruit per per cup of mousseline).  I don’t know how that compares with the butters.

I’ve thought about adding some strawberry to the cake itself, but I’m going to pass on that this time, because I’ve never made this particular “cake bread” (as my friend’s son calls it) before, and I want to really get to taste it.

Have fun!!!

—ak

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Posted: 19 May 2011 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In addition to what Anne said, I’ll add that with mousseline bc, I usually feel like it needs some liquid to be the best for eating (though maybe not the best for piping).  And think about what you’re pairing the bc with when you’re deciding how much strawberry flavor is desireable.  When I first started making mousseline, I would taste a little from the bowl and always think that it needed more fruit puree, or extract, or whatever flavor I was adding.  But then it would be out of balance with the cake it was on, so I learned to taste it with some cake trimmings.  Another way to boost flavor, if you need it, is with the fruit essences from La Cuisine.  The wild strawberry is particularly good.

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Posted: 19 May 2011 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you so much Anne and Julie for your very informative posts. I only knew about nutsonline.com so special thanks, Anne, for those reviews/recommendations as well.

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Posted: 19 May 2011 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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My pleasure.  You can get the Crispy Fruit from Amazon and the Today’s Farm from Vitacost.com (VitaCost is having free shipping at $49 for the rest of the month).  They also carry my favorite raw honey, Y.S. Farms at a good price.

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Posted: 02 July 2011 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Interesting thread…I’m looking for a natural strawberry flavor that can be used in cakes and can stand up to the heat. Do any of the products you’ve mentioned work in batters, or are they better for just the icings? I use Boyajian strawberry now, but they’ve stopped making it :(

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Posted: 02 July 2011 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi, Costumeczar!

Welcome!

It’s just fruit, so I would think it would work nicely—either powdered or chopped—in batter, although I haven’t tried it.  It’s possible you would want to add some amount of extra liquid, since they are very absorbent, so they don’t dry out your cake.  Also, it’s possible you would have to adjust baking soda (or add it), which can be a tricky thing, for certain fruits that are acidic (like strawberries), but I couldn’t say for sure.

If you do try it, please report back!!

—ak

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