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Why do people love shortening so much!!! *a rant*
Posted: 20 May 2008 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I just don’t understand it. People talking about buttercream( on other sites), sharing recipes and techniques. Professional home bakers putting product out there and it’s all made with shortening!
People complaining about this shortening vs that shortening and the problems since trans fats were removed.

and i just want to shout, “BUTTER, PEOPLE! ACTUALLY TRY SOME BUTTER.”

just thinking of that greasy stuff on my pallet makes my skin crawl. for some reason it really offends me and makes me a bit irrational ... lol

the worst is that potential customers think that is what i make and i have to take them thru this learning process to discover the beauty of a true buttercream. *sigh*

it just shocks me that shortening is still considered a food. i mean, you wouldn’t drink a glass of melted crisco would you? why eat it on something that is supposed to be a treat!?

anyway. glad i have all of you to share the joys of mousseline with.

grin

jen

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Posted: 20 May 2008 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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We live in a country where people call food with the wrong names!!!!!!

Whipped cream is my favorite frosting, but people say “uhhhh, just whipped cream?”  I know of this high end bakery which calls it “fresh cream” instead, just to make it sell better.  And coincidently this bakery down talks buttercream because they only know the type made with shortening!

Mousseline Buttercream is best called Mousse Cream.  Instead of using the words Italian Meringue which customers already give you a scared acceptance “Meringue is nasty, it is just sweet sugar and whites” use the word Mousse.  Then, instead of using the word Buttercream, use the word cream; cream has butter in it, lots of it, so I feel it is correct to call this frosting not as a buttercream, but as a cream.

I think Mousseline is a hybrid between a buttercream and a whipped cream, or between meringue and cream.

Thanks for starting this rant.

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Posted: 20 May 2008 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hector, I agree with your point, but, I had to laugh because Mousse Cream may not sound that appetizing to people either, as in “Moose.” smile

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Posted: 20 May 2008 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I probably wouldn’t drink a glass of melted butter either.

I do tend to avoid shortening as the majority of the shortening in a product.  Some recipes need it for its differing qualities, like pie crusts.  But even the few recipes I have that call for all shortening “ick” I have split half-half with butter so it tastes better. 

Shortening has no taste.  So it does provide a neutral fat for certain applications.  I have a gingerbread recipe that uses shortening, and I can’t imagine it with butter.
I understand that you are talking specifically about frostings, and I couldn’t agree with you more.  But everything has its place.

If that “application” is to give you a shelf-stable, temperature-friendly, inexpensive binder to stick sugar on a cake and transfer it into your mouth without spilling, my guess is that shortening could be the the proper tool.

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Posted: 20 May 2008 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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mmmm but a glass of melted butter yields so many tasty possibilities… lol


shortening may be the best thing to make fried chicken with, but not for mixing with confectioner’s sugar and eating on a dessert. IMO

oh and hector, have you checked out the banana/chocolate pie at Costco? no banana OR chocolate in it.

jen

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Posted: 21 May 2008 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jen,

I’m with you, shortening really makes my skin crawl.  It is banned in many other developed countries, as a public health hazard.  Butter may not be a health food, but studies show trans fats are worse than butter for your health.  And at least butter adds dreamy taste, shortening is unhealthy AND tasteless!  I feel that if you’re going to have treat, it should be really worthwhile and satisfying, not flavorless and so sweet it makes you cringe. 

Finally, you really have to read ingredient labels, because products with a small amount of trans fats get away with labeling them zero on the nutrition label by rounding down, i.e., 0.4 grams gets rounded down to 0 grams. 

I feel like it is up to people like Rose and all of you here to enlighten the masses and to help them appreciate what a fine thing real buttercream is! 

Julie

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Posted: 21 May 2008 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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You’re preaching to the choir here—one of the many reasons I’m glad I settled in Wisconsin is all the lovely milk, butter, cream, cheese, etc.

I agree that a lot of Americans seem to be hung up on foods that are very sweet, salty or greasy but without much TASTE otherwise!

Some folks aren’t going to change their minds but I’m glad we’re all out there trying.

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Posted: 21 May 2008 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Agreed! I can’t stand shortening being used in either cakes or icings. Not only does it have no taste whatsoever, but the mouth feel it leaves behind is not at all pleasant—since it doesn’t melt at normal body temp, it doesn’t melt in the mouth, and it feels like I’m licking plastic or something…

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Posted: 21 May 2008 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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And then they combine that shortening with BLEACHED FLOUR!

My 15 year old nephew visited Seattle from the midwest last year. I made strawberry shortcake. When I used a whisk and bowl to whip the cream he was dumbfounded. He had never seen cream whipped. Whipped cream was something that came out of a can!

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Posted: 22 May 2008 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It should be against the law to call shortening based frostings “buttercream”.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I don’t have a problem with bleached flour, since I only use it in certain applications (cakes and some pancake and cookie recipes), and I also don’t eat these things everyday; they are special treats.

And if using bleached flour means having a superior cake in taste and texture, I’ll take the bleached flour—even if it means shaving 10 years off my life (I don’t want to live past the age of 70 anyway—when I can no longer live independently, I’ll be checking out).

Considering that I eat pretty healthfully most of the time anyway, I’m really not concerned about bleached flour.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 08:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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The idea of this thread as I interpret Jen’s post is to express our feelings. We need to stand up and let others know how we really feel. I know it will come as a shock to many of the people on this board but I don’t like soft cakes covered in airy frosting. I like food with mouth feel. I like flavor that reflects the ingredients. This is a personal preference and not meant as an aspersion on others preferences.
I don’t like shortening because it doesn’t taste like food.
I don’t like bleached flour because it doesn’t taste like food.
I am sure my prejudices are colored by my perception of their lack of nutritional content. I can’t help the way I feel. I just don’t like em. I believe good food should be like a symphony. When you experience a symphony you first hear an integrated sound but with concentration you can listen to the oboes over there and the violins down there and oh yeah there in the back is the poor guy with the timpani. A cake made with bleached flour is like a symphony without a timpani. You wait and wait to taste flour, to taste something. It leaves a void in the experience of eating. Just like shortening used in buttercream. You wait and wait for the butter flavor and it never arrives. Disappointing, unsatisfying, disagreeable.

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Posted: 23 May 2008 12:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Gene - 22 May 2008 11:02 PM

The idea of this thread as I interpret Jen’s post is to express our feelings. We need to stand up and let others know how we really feel. I know it will come as a shock to many of the people on this board but I don’t like soft cakes covered in airy frosting. I like food with mouth feel. I like flavor that reflects the ingredients. This is a personal preference and not meant as an aspersion on others preferences.


Unfortunately Gene, I do feel that you were dissing a bit on those of us who use bleached flour in baking. So you don’t like the stuff, big deal, good for you. Go forth, be merry, and bake without bleached flour.

I feel the total opposite about cakes. I think a well made cake is a symphony of flavors, with the flour acting as the conductor. Just as you don’t hear the conductor in a symphony, you’re not supposed to taste the flour in a cake.

I think this is all I’ll say on this topic and leave it at that.

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Posted: 23 May 2008 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Jeeeezzz! Jen can dis all over shortening but I can’t get in a few digs about bleached flour?
Good conductor analogy. I liked it.

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Posted: 24 May 2008 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I think the taste of cake flour, which is bleached, is a bit on the sweet side - I actually like it (baked in a cake of course). 

Gene - I value your opinions and observations, so please keep them coming.  Btw, what’s your favorite pizza combination?
PS - love the timpani smile.

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Posted: 24 May 2008 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Thank you Patrincia. I guess by the standards of this group I am a bit of a troll. It is difficult to impart a sense of light hearted jest and good will through text. I am too impressed with my own cleverness. This is a personal failing that I must struggle against daily. I must reread some passages from TCB to regain perspective.

Ah the eternal question of selecting the best of so many good (with the exception of pineapple). I am afraid I must revert to the childhood favorite and the familiar. Pepperoni pizza is my favorite. One may enjoy the simple cheesy portions and then dip into the full overload with the occasional bite of pepperoni.

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