Notice: Undefined variable: last in /home/veganbak/public_html/plugins/system/jreviews_sef/jreviews_router.php on line 1630

Notice: Undefined offset: 1 in /home/veganbak/public_html/plugins/system/jreviews_sef/jreviews_router.php on line 276
<![CDATA[Vegan Shortening Recipes]]> http://www.veganbaking.net/ <![CDATA[Vegan Shortening Recipes]]> http://www.veganbaking.net/images/stories/logo.png http://www.veganbaking.net/ http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/fats/vegan-shortenings/vegan-shortening-cocoa-butter-base <![CDATA[Vegan Shortening - Cocoa Butter Base]]> http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/fats/vegan-shortenings/vegan-shortening-cocoa-butter-base Vegan Shortening - Cocoa Butter BaseShortening definitely has its place in vegan baking. From pie crusts, shortbreads and puff pastry, it’s a basic building block for texture. This solid fat is so integral to these types of desserts because it alters the way gluten is formed in baked items that utilize wheat-based flours. For more on the food science of shortening, check out my article on how to make vegan shortening.My original recipe for vegan shortening utilized a mixture of coconut oil and vegetable oil such as canola, light olive oil or rice bran oil. The coconut oil is solid at room temperature. When it’s mixed with a certain ratio of fats that are liquid at room temperature, a certain level of softness can be dialed in that makes it suitable to use as shortening. This recipe utilizes deodorized, also known as refined cocoa butter. {loadposition share}Vegan Shortening - Cocoa Butter Base

Shortening definitely has its place in vegan baking. From pie crusts, shortbreads and puff pastry, it’s a basic building block for texture. This solid fat is so integral to these types of desserts because it alters the way gluten is formed in baked items that utilize wheat-based flours. For more on the food science of shortening, check out my article on how to make vegan shortening.My original recipe for vegan shortening utilized a mixture of coconut oil and vegetable oil such as canola, light olive oil or rice bran oil. The coconut oil is solid at room temperature. When it’s mixed with a certain ratio of fats that are liquid at room temperature, a certain level of softness can be dialed in that makes it suitable to use as shortening. This recipe utilizes deodorized, also known as refined cocoa butter.
{loadposition body-ad-1}

Why would you want to make your own shortening? 

Why go through the hassle of making your own shortening? There are many reasons:
  • The United States is one of the only places in the world where shortening can be found.
  • Most of the shortening available in the US is derived from palm oil, which, as of this writing, is associated with environmental destruction in Sumatra.
  • Much of the shortening commercially available has additives that you might want to choose to avoid.
  • Making your own shortening allows you to unlock more creativity with your baked items. For example, if you want to add a layer of white chocolate or hazelnut flavor to your dessert, you could swap out some or all of the refined cocoa butter for unrefined cocoa butter and some or all of the canola oil with hazelnut oil. How about a hazelnut shortening that doesn’t resort to hazelnut extract for flavoring? Making your own Vegan Butter or Shortening and using hazelnut oil allows this to be possible! Toasted sesame oil in a vegetable pot pie crust? Why not?

What is Cocoa Butter?

Cocoa Butter is the fat from the cacao bean, the bean used to make chocolate. It’s had all of the dark cocoa solids removed so it’s an opaque white instead of chocolate colored. Even though the dark solids have been removed, cocoa butter in its unrefined state still has a certain level of chocolate flavor. It’s important to use refined, also known as deodorized cocoa butter in this shortening recipe in order to produce a flavor-neutral shortening. 
 
Refined cocoa butter has been passed through a filter to remove all traces of chocolate flavor. If you’d like to leverage chocolate flavor in your shortening, by all means, use unrefined cocoa butter. 

Cocoa Butter

Where do you find Cocoa Butter?

I usually order my cocoa butter online because it’s not yet available at my local health food store. When ordering online, it’s very important to confirm that your refined or unrefined cocoa butter is food grade. If it doesn’t specify food grade, assume that it’s cosmetic grade and look elsewhere. Food grade fats are processed in a way that either adequately preserves or removes flavor. For example, if you’re looking for good quality unrefined cocoa butter, food grade will ensure that the manufacturer uses processes that preserve maximum chocolate flavor. Conversely, food grade refined cocoa butter will be handled in a way that removes as much of the flavor as possible. 
 
The opposite of food grade cocoa butter is usually cosmetic grade. Cosmetic grade cocoa butter may or may not be safe for human consumption, depending on the processes used for preparing it for market. In my experience, cosmetic grade cocoa butter usually contains slight off-flavors, making it unsuitable for food applications if even if it were refined in a way that would be safe for food consumption.

Why use Cocoa Butter?

To understand why cocoa butter is so valuable in vegan shortening, we must understand the limitations of coconut oil. Coconut oil has a melting temperature of about 77F (25C). Cocoa butter melts at about 93-100F (34 to 38C). This is more in line with the melting point of palm oil, which is 95F (35C) and animal-based fats. The lower melting point of coconut oil means that once it’s mixed with vegetable oils, the shortening starts to melt at somewhere right below 77F (25C). In the United States this isn’t much of a concern, but in hotter climates, your shortening will often melt so quickly that it’ll be partially liquefied before you get a chance to bake your dough. Cocoa butter gives you added insurance that your dough will remain at the optimal texture before it goes into the oven in these hot conditions.
 
This Vegan Shortening recipe utilizing cocoa butter, in contrast to the vegan shortening that utilizes coconut oil, has a melt point between 80 and 85F (27 to 29C). 
 
Due to the slightly lower melting point of coconut oil, I realized that it would be beneficial to have recipes for Vegan Butters, Shortenings and Frostings with higher melt points. I mean, have you seen frosting slide off a cake in hot weather? What a bummer! 
 
Regular Vegan Butter - Cocoa Butter Base is another example of a Vegan Butter that likely has a slightly higher melting point than Regular Vegan Butter - Coconut Oil Base

Vegan Shortening

Learn more about the melting temperatures of fats.

Vegan Shortening Recipe - Cocoa Butter Base

6 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons refined cocoa butter (72 grams)
9 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (140 ml) canola, light olive oil or rice bran oil

1) Melt and mix your fats

Melt the cocoa butter in a microwave so it's barely melted and as close to room temperature as possible. Measure it and add it and the canola oil to a food processor. Making smooth shortening is dependent on the mixture solidifying as quickly as possible after it's mixed. This smoothness depends on the fats solidifying before they get a chance to separate. This is why it's important to make sure your coconut oil is as close to room temperature as possible before you mix it with the canola oil.

2) Transfer the Vegan Shortening to a mold and freeze

Process for 1 minute, scraping down the sides halfway through the duration. Pour the mixture into a mold such as an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer to solidify. An ice cube mold works well. The vegan shortening should be ready to use in about an hour. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months or wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 2 years. This recipe makes 1 cup, 215 grams, or the equivalent of 2 sticks Cocoa Butter Vegan Shortening.

{loadposition aal-ice-cube-tray}
{loadposition article-end} ]]>
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 05:22:31 -0500
http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/fats/vegan-shortenings/how-to-make-vegan-shortening <![CDATA[How to Make Vegan Shortening - Coconut Oil Base]]> http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/fats/vegan-shortenings/how-to-make-vegan-shortening Vegan ShorteningAs I progress in my vegan baking adventures I strive for quality ingredients that give me as much control as possible over the flavors and textures I'm trying to convey. I also love breaking foods down to their most basic components and building them back up again, learning and getting unnecessarily excited along the way. For some people it's TV. For me it's this sort of food hacking. 

I recently decided that I wanted to create a high quality vegan butter because I began to tire of the store bought yellow goop that I was so steadily relying on. What if I don't want all that diacetyl flavoring, beta carotene coloring, palm oil and who knows what else? My vegan butter experimentation ended up being more successful than I imagined. What if I made my own shortening? {loadposition share}Vegan Shortening

As I progress in my vegan baking adventures I strive for quality ingredients that give me as much control as possible over the flavors and textures I'm trying to convey. I also love breaking foods down to their most basic components and building them back up again, learning and getting unnecessarily excited along the way. For some people it's TV. For me it's this sort of food hacking. 

I recently decided that I wanted to create a high quality vegan butter because I began to tire of the store bought yellow goop that I was so steadily relying on. What if I don't want all that diacetyl flavoring, beta carotene coloring, palm oil and who knows what else? My vegan butter experimentation ended up being more successful than I imagined. What if I made my own shortening?
{loadposition body-ad-1}

Understanding shortening

What is shortening and why is it used in baking? Shortening is flavorless and consists of 100% fat. It's designed to be used in baking applications where its ability to remain solid at room temperature can benefit the ease of preparation of the food as well as the consistency of the dough.

Shortening is frequently used to inhibit gluten formation doughs such as in pie crusts, puff pastry and short bread. Solid fats are commonly utilized in baking to make short doughs. That is, doughs that crumble, flake and crunch. You can think of the term short to mean shortened flexibility. This texture comes about because solid fats enable the following:
  • The compounds in wheat-based flours that form gluten; glutenin and gliadin, have trouble binding together and creating structure because they get slippery as they get coated by the fat. This causes the gluten bonds to become blocked partially or completely, depending on the amount of fat present. This is also why adding a couple Tablespoons of any type of oil to a loaf of bread dough will cause the loaf to bake up more soft and tender.
  • The fats also repel and displace water, which is needed to activate the glutenin and gliadin into gluten. 
  • When there are streaks of shortening or other fats in doughs such as pie crusts or puff pastry the fat separates the layers of dough from each other, allowing them to further separate as they trap rising steam and gas during baking. Shortening does this job well because unlike vegan butter which contains water that would activate some of the gluten, shortening is 100% fat so the gluten bonds are minimized as much as possible. This results in crispy, crunchy, flaky goodness. Using a fat that is solid at room temperature such as shortening is critical because a liquid oil would be soaked up by the flour and evenly dispersed in the dough too evenly during mixing which would result in a crumbly, mealy finished product.
  • After baking has completed and the baked item has cooled down, the solid fats solidify, adding a sense of dryness to the finished product.
The trick is that you want a certain amount of gluten to be activated by the water added to your recipe so you get your desired texture. More water activates more gluten and downplays the role of the solid fats. Less water activates less gluten and allows more crumbly, flaky goodness to come to the fore in your baked item. 
 
Fine tuning the specific amounts of shortening and water-based ingredients, you can perfectly dial in the perfect level of short dough characteristics. Take a look at any pie crust recipe and you’ll see this delicate ratio of solid fats to water-based ingredients in action.

Applying shortening food science to vegan shortening

It wasn't until I started Veganbaking.net that I realized that the US is one of the only countries in the world where shortening can be easily found. This recipe allows you make shortening if you're unable to find it in your area. It also gives you the option of avoiding regular store-bought shortening which is usually based on palm oil. As of this writing, palm oil is currently associated with rainforest destruction in Sumatra as well as other places. Isn't it ironic that a vegan product can negatively affect environmental and animal welfare? Coconut oil is still flown half way around the world but at least it's a step in the right direction.

I recommend refined coconut oil in this recipe. Refined coconut oil has been deodorized by passing it through a filter which removes its naturally occurring coconut flavor and aroma. If you want a strong coconut flavor in your baked item then go with unrefined coconut oil by all means.

One of the most powerful things about making your own ingredients is that you have more control over the outcome. Try using unrefined coconut oil instead of refined to make a true coconut flavored shortening. Then use it in the pie crust you use to make a coconut cream pie. You could utilize this trick anywhere a hidden layer of coconut flavor could enhance your dessert!

A Note of Caution Coconut oil melts at about 77F (25C) so if you're going to be using this shortening in frostings and other preparations where it's not being baked into actual products like pie crust, and the temperature exceeds that temperature, the shortening will melt and your frosting will slide down your cake. If you do need things like frostings to be more temperature stable and similar to traditional frostings, I recommend a version of this vegan shortening that's based on deodorized cocoa butter which is forthcoming.

Learn more about the melting temperatures of fats.

Vegan Shortening Recipe - Coconut Oil Base

¾ cup refined coconut oil
¼ cup canola, light olive oil or rice bran oil

1) Melt and mix your fats

Melt the coconut oil in a microwave so it's barely melted and as close to room temperature as possible. Measure it and add it and the canola oil to a food processor. Making smooth shortening is dependent on the mixture solidifying as quickly as possible after it's mixed. This smoothness depends on the fats solidifying before they get a chance to separate. This is why it's important to make sure your coconut oil is as close to room temperature as possible before you mix it with the canola oil.

2) Transfer the Vegan Shortening to a mold and freeze

Process for 1 minute, scraping down the sides halfway through the duration. Pour the mixture into a mold such as an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer to solidify. An ice cube mold works well. The vegan shortening should be ready to use in about an hour. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months or wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 2 years. This recipe makes 1 cup, 215 grams, or the equivalent of 2 sticks Coconut Oil Vegan Shortening.

Vegan Shortening

{loadposition aal-ice-cube-tray}
{loadposition article-end}
]]>
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 20:18:57 -0500