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Baking With Oil Instead Of Butter
Posted: 18 January 2012 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am baking for someone who has elevated cholesterol.  I know Rose has some cakes using oil instead of butter but can I replace the butter for oil in any of the recipes? Also, generally speaking, can I use egg whites in place of whole eggs?

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Posted: 18 January 2012 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi, FG!!

My thinking is, on the whole, you can do both.  (2 whites replace one egg, BTW).  Here’s why: In Rose’s pumpkin (or zucchini) bread in TCB, it is an oil cake/bread, and she says you can sub whites for whole eggs to make it cholesterol free.  And, as we know, the banana cake from RHC is idential to the TCB Cordon Rose, except that it uses oil instead of butter.

I would look at how ingredients are initially combined and then mixed in oil cakes (like the carrot cake and, I think, the German Chocolate cake) and how it’s done for egg white cakes (white chocolate whisper, for example), and take that into consideration when you’re actually preparing the batter.

Of course, you will get a different cake, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be delicious!

FWIW, I think they have flip-flopped again and deemed eggs okay, in case you just want to tackle one substitution instead of two!!!!  A whole cake has very little egg, when you get right down to it.

—ak

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Posted: 18 January 2012 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thank you so much Anne. This person was just diagnosed and she is at the stage where she needs to actively lower her “bad” cholesterol so without eggs would be the best choice for her right now; but, in the future, a recipe using 2 eggs would not be so bad.

Would you know how much oil I would substitute per cup of butter?

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Posted: 18 January 2012 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve wondered about this too.  My own theory (not proven in any way)—is that some additional liquid may be needed as butter is about 80% fat and 20% water.  So that would mean using only 80% of the butter as oil and then adding 20% of the butter weight in liquid such as water or milk.  Egg yolks also act as emulsifiers, so I’m not sure if they can totally be removed without ill effect from all recipes—and of course, they have some fat too, albeit small in proportion to the other ingredients. 

I’ve been thinking about this lately as I want to work on adapting my two favourite chocolate chip cookie recipes (Cook’s Illustrated and Alton Brown’s)—basically want to use Alton’s recipe but with browned butter (CI recipe) and try adding additional milk for the 20% loss in water from browning the butter. 

I’d be curious to know how this works out.  In general, though, I know that Rose’s recipes are very exact and don’t always work well with substitutions.

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Posted: 18 January 2012 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Sherrie, I’m thinking perhaps keeping 1 of the eggs in the recipe and using egg whites as a substitute for the other eggs. As Anne, said, eggs don’t contribute all that much when you think of the amount of servings a cake offers for using 2 eggs.

I’m wondering about a chocolate replacement, though.  confused

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Posted: 18 January 2012 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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FG, not all chocolate would have cholesterol since cholesterol only comes from animal sources, I believe.  If you can find good bittersweet choc, most wouldn’t have much milk/butterfats.  Cocoa should also be cholesterol free.  In fact, some studies link chocolate to lowering cholesterol!

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Posted: 18 January 2012 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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For the substitution, I would compare the RHC Refrigerator Banana Cake to the TCB Cordon Rose Banana Cake.  One uses oil, the other butter, but they are identical otherwise.  So you can get your figures from there.  I belive it’s the same, but it would be good to check.  I know what you mean re butter having water, but if I remember correctly, this is ignored in favor of a a direct substitution.  Maybe someone who has both books on hand can check it out.

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Posted: 18 January 2012 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Sherrie - 18 January 2012 06:03 PM

FG, not all chocolate would have cholesterol since cholesterol only comes from animal sources, I believe.  If you can find good bittersweet choc, most wouldn’t have much milk/butterfats.  Cocoa should also be cholesterol free.  In fact, some studies link chocolate to lowering cholesterol!

Wow! That is good to know. I thought I had to forget about all my favorite chocolate recipes. YAY!

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Posted: 18 January 2012 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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FlourGirl, just a word of caution when substituting oil for butter - I’ve done this many times and some recipes work well, others are less than stellar and the product ended up quite rubbery. In general, the ones that were successful had cocoa or ground nuts replacing some of the flour, or included an ingredient like grated carrots, pumpkin or banana puree.

I think your egg white substitution will be successful as Rose does it with her own recipes eg in RHC the financier-style vanilla bean pound cakes and the mini vanilla bean pound cakes (both of which I’ve increased and baked in loaf pans and bundt pans)

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Posted: 18 January 2012 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Anne in NC - 18 January 2012 06:09 PM

For the substitution, I would compare the RHC Refrigerator Banana Cake to the TCB Cordon Rose Banana Cake.  One uses oil, the other butter, but they are identical otherwise.  So you can get your figures from there.  I belive it’s the same, but it would be good to check.  I know what you mean re butter having water, but if I remember correctly, this is ignored in favor of a a direct substitution.  Maybe someone who has both books on hand can check it out.

I have her books.

The Rose Cordon Blue calls for 10 TB-5 oz-142g of butter

The Refrigerator Banana Cake calls for 1/2 cup-3.7oz-108g of oil

The quantity of butter is greater than that of the oil. Does that mean I should use approx 1 oz (29g) less oil than the amount of butter called for in the recipe?

Another issue is the sour cream. Can low fat buttermilk replace it?

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Posted: 18 January 2012 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Sophia - 18 January 2012 06:31 PM

FlourGirl, just a word of caution when substituting oil for butter - I’ve done this many times and some recipes work well, others are less than stellar and the product ended up quite rubbery. In general, the ones that were successful had cocoa or ground nuts replacing some of the flour, or included an ingredient like grated carrots, pumpkin or banana puree.

I think your egg white substitution will be successful as Rose does it with her own recipes eg in RHC the financier-style vanilla bean pound cakes and the mini vanilla bean pound cakes (both of which I’ve increased and baked in loaf pans and bundt pans)

Thank you Sophia. So then, generally speaking, quick cakes would convert better than regular cakes?

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Posted: 18 January 2012 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Also check and see that the cakes are the same ratio to make sure—you can compare flour & sugar from one to the other to make sure one isn’t making more batter.
Assuming this is the same, then just multiply butter grams by .74 to get oil grams.

I can’t be sure about the sour cream—maybe nonfat greek yogurt?  Buttermilk seems to be more liquidy than sour cream. 

Again, the cake will be vastly different—It seems to me that with sour cream, butter and eggs, you’re making a lot of subs, and you might just want to find a recipe designed to be cholesterol free somewhere on the web that has lots of positive reviews.

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Posted: 18 January 2012 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thank you Anne. Rose has a list of low cholesterol recipes in RHC so maybe I can start my comparison there. Thank you for your help and for the multiplication formula.  This problem is disappointing to me but I will just have to look at it as a new challenge. Maybe it will be fun experimenting.

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Posted: 18 January 2012 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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That’s good to know!!!  I know you’ll have fun experimenting!  I’m sure everyone here will be really interested to know how you fare, as well!!!

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Posted: 18 January 2012 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thank you! I will definitely post my results. Thanks again!

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Posted: 18 January 2012 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Flour Girl, defintely explore the world of chiffon cakes! 

They are generally made with oil and more egg whites than yolks, perfect for your needs.  They are delicious, too, and won’t need any alterations and tests the way substitutions would.  There are tube pan versions in the Cake Bible, mocha or orange baby cakes in RHC, and an orange or lemon layer cake in RHC.  Lastly, the deep chocolate passion is a chiffon, and you could make Rose’s almond milk ganache from the blog for a cholesterol-free frosting.

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