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lumps of shortening in my batter

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
hiya

I've never cooked with shortening before until joining this forum, always butter. Every time I use shortening, I end up with white lumps all through my batter.

I just made a cake, and this time used the defrost function of my microwave to soften it first. It was so soft parts of it had melted already. But I STILL have lumps in the batter.

What should I do? Can I melt the shortening instead?
post #2 of 24
Are you talking about cake batter or icing?

Are you creaming it with your mixer before adding the other ingredients? I'm not sure why else you would get lumps. maybe someone else knows better?
post #3 of 24
Sounds like you're simply not beating it enough.
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post #4 of 24
I always cream my butter or shortening with sugar until it's fluffy for a batter or cookie dough. For frosting, I beat it until it's very smooth and fluffy and then add sugar.
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post #5 of 24
I agree...sounds like you aren't beating enough of the buhgeezus out of it before you add your other ingredients. thumbs_up.gif
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post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
this is the recipe I just made, it calls for the shortening to be added after all the other ingredients, so I don't actually cream it.....
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2165/a-better-white-scratch-cake

the last recipe I had this problem with DID call for it to be creamed first, but my mixer simply won't get the lumps out, no matter how long I beat it for. I went back to creaming by hand that time.

So do you reckon I could melt it instead of using it hard?
post #7 of 24
No don't melt it. That changes the recipe completely.

I'm fascinated that your mixer can't beat this batter properly, but you can cream sugar and shortening by hand.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
lol.... you may also be fascinated by how cheap it was compared to the kind of mixers I think most people on here use! I would love one of those lovely shiney red mixers, but here in New Zealand the cheapest I have seen them for is $900, and I can't justify that for a hobby. So I'll make do with the one I've got.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I'm fascinated that your mixer can't beat this batter properly, but you can cream sugar and shortening by hand.



Yep, I have stood there and watched the lumps get fed inbetween the beaters, and come out the other side unaffected. Of course the bigger lumps get dealt to, it's just the smaller ones.

One of the things I discovered when starting out on this cake obsession of mine is that you actually CAN cream with a machine! At school we were taught you must always cream by hand, so I'm just grateful I don't have to wreck my wrists!
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

lol.... you may also be fascinated by how cheap it was compared to the kind of mixers I think most people on here use! I would love one of those lovely shiney red mixers, but here in New Zealand the cheapest I have seen them for is $900, and I can't justify that for a hobby. So I'll make do with the one I've got.



Have you checked eBay for a used mixer? Even a good used handmixer would be better than what you're having to use.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". Erma Bombeck
~~~
If God is for us, who can be against us?
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When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". Erma Bombeck
~~~
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Reply
post #10 of 24
Do you mind if I ask why you are using shortening at all? New Zealand has got some of the best butter in the world, The recipe you are making is just like a butter cake. American butter and NZ butter tastes completely different, I think this is why alot of american recipes call for shortening as most dont like the strong buttery flavour.

And you dont need a KA, have a look around for a sunbeam or breville. They'll get you thru and you will find once you own one you'll find more excuses to use it!
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Don't mind at all!

I was trying to get the cake as white as possible, so was following the ingredients exactly. In case you were wondering, I wanted it white so I could tell if it would be suitable for a rainbow cake - the cake I made with butter was so yellow it distorted my colours.

The mixer I have is a sunbeam, but it's probably the basic briscoes model, nothing fancy! I'll just put a new mixer on the list of things my husband and I dream about buying when we've paid off the mortgage icon_wink.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by roweeena

Do you mind if I ask why you are using shortening at all? New Zealand has got some of the best butter in the world, The recipe you are making is just like a butter cake. American butter and NZ butter tastes completely different, I think this is why alot of american recipes call for shortening as most dont like the strong buttery flavour.

And you dont need a KA, have a look around for a sunbeam or breville. They'll get you thru and you will find once you own one you'll find more excuses to use it!
post #12 of 24
There is a product called the 'Beater Blade'. Its an attachment that looks like a flat beater for a stand mixer, but the edges have a spatula on it. Try looking it up online. I have one for my KA, but I know they offer it for other models of mixers. I know it helps smooth out lumps for me. Don't know if this will help in New Zealand, or the type of mixer you have, but I can't do without mine. Good luck!
post #13 of 24
What if you cream the shortening seperately before adding it to the rest of the ingredients?
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post #14 of 24
is the shortning room temperatue? mainly i think its your mixer.. there isnt much anyone can do about it honestly. cause shortning itself is soft "well at least for me it is" it doesnt take me that long to get it creamed.
another thing is i looked at your recipie.. u dont have to do it the way it says .. you can mix the dry ingreadiant alone ... cream the shortning with with a little bit of the liquid then add the rest of the dry and liqud and then the egg whites
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by doramoreno62

What if you cream the shortening seperately before adding it to the rest of the ingredients?



Absolutley cream that shortening FIRST if you're having those kinds of problems.
If you want to follow the directions of the recipe, cream it in a seperate bowl to get all the lumps out, then add it as the recipe directs.

I'm begining to wonder if shortening in NZ is different than what we have in the states. Maybe you sitll have transfat and it's much more solid than what is found on the grocery store shelves here.

And don't heat it, but do have it at room temperature.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". Erma Bombeck
~~~
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Reply
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". Erma Bombeck
~~~
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Reply
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