Every baker and confectioner with his or her salt (or sugar) has a trick or two tucked up the old sleeve. Whether it’s something they learned about from those that came before them and guided them or a gem of wisdom distilled from the advice of a friend, there are secrets aplenty.
Here’s something that’s not such a trade secret; you may be able to improve your cakes, cookies, icing, and frosting recipes with high ratio shortening.
What Is It?
High ratio shortening is a special type of shortening that has been formulated specifically for bakers and confectioners. Some shortenings contain a small degree of moisture in the form of water that can impact the way the shortening interacts with other ingredients, like oil, as well as how it lends its character to baked goods.
It is a form of shortening that is 100% fat and contains no moisture whatsoever, which endows it with a number of benefits that we will go over shortly. Something to keep in mind, however, is that while shortenings have traditionally been made with trans fats, today there are versions that are made without them and maintain the same benefits of high ratio blends.
Why It Matters
You might be thinking, “Well, that’s all well and good, but what does it matter for me?” There are a number of reasons that this type of shortening is preferable to bakers and confectioners around the world, not the least of which are to follow. Get familiar with some of these benefits that high ratio versions of shortening can offer, and if you have any questions make sure you get in touch with our customer service team!
Better Flavor and Texture
The first thing that these types of shortening can offer you is better flavor and texture, regardless of whether you use them to make a buttercream frosting for cake decorating or the cake itself. In fact, you could use it for both and get unique benefits.
On the palate, this type of shortening is significantly less greasy than other shortenings and will feel drier and smoother when you make icing and frostings with it. As it concerns cakes and cookies, since it has no moisture in it whatsoever, it can produce marvelously light and fluffy baked goods. Whether you make your cake with it or your frosting or both, a high ratio is the way to go for enhanced mouthfeel and more subtle, creamier flavor.
Because this type of shortening is also temperature stable, it can handle both higher and lower temperatures which can be valuable for a number of reasons. On the low side, it can handle lower temperatures so that it will resist cracking, and some recipes can even be frozen and thawed multiple times with no damage done to consistency.
At the same time, it can also stand up to higher temperatures which can make it ideal for baking and decorating. It will not heat up and melt or drip unduly while you are decorating, either.
We touched on this in a section above but we feel it is important enough to drive the point home because this is one of the main selling points of high ratio shortening. Because this type of shortening is made free of moisture when you use it to bake it will trap no little pockets of steam because no steam will be produced. This makes it possible to bake unbelievably smooth and fluffy cookies, cakes, and other baked goods. You just can’t do the same with traditional shortenings or even with butter.
Increased Capacity to Hold Sugar and Liquids
Another benefit of high ratio shortening comes in the form of the fact this type of shortening can carry additional sugar and liquids. It will be able to carry an increased amount of other oils to make your cakes lighter and moister and at the same time can hold more sugar to make your confections like your frosting sweeter.
Easier to Add Color!
For those of you who have the need to add color into your batters and frosting, you will be pleased to learn that this type of shortening is also better able to serve as a vehicle for carrying colors. In other words, your life will be a lot easier if you want to dye your batters and icing recipes!
Get in Touch with Us!
If you want to learn more about why this unique type of shortening is ideally suited for baking and confectionery, make sure you get in touch with a member of our team today. We have a collective of many years of experience in the industry and we’d be more than happy to put our experience to work for you. First, get familiar with what we offer, and if you want to learn more about it, give us a call at 724-274-6314.