Margarine and Butter

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by Akos, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    I really want to understand the science behind this. In my country most bakers cream margarine and sugar to make cakes, especially if the cake will be covered in fondant, because butter is expensive unless a recipe calls specifically for butter. Unlike butter, it takes a longer time about 45 minutes to an hour (at 10 minutes intervals) to cream. The cakes comes out well though. Now my question: why does margarine take longer; what the science behind it compared to butter? Thanks everyone
     
    Akos, Jul 21, 2019
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  2. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Akos,

    From baking science there nothing to be gained by beating the margarine for 45 minutes. Unless there’s some strange form of margarine being sold where you live that has some high levels of hydrogen atoms. But I doubt that is the case.

    If you are still doubtful then run an experiment.

    Make two cakes using the same recipe.

    Beat one for 45 minutes. Beat the other for the standard five minutes. Then evaluate each one and see if there is a marked difference in quality of the cakes. If the 45 minute creaming cake has a markedly better quality

    Margarine is a liquid fat that is turned into a solid by adding a hydrogen atoms. This process is called hydrogenating, so these oils are called hydrogenated oils.

    When the hydrogenated, the oils become very hard, so hard they cannot be used. So they “partially” hydrogenate the oils so they are soft enough to use. Some are used as shortening, some turn into margarine to mimic the look and consistency of butter.

    The whole point in making margarine is to use it exactly like butter.

    Creaming margarine for 45 minutes would defeats the purpose of creaming butter and sugar.

    Creaming butter and sugar is mechanical leavening. Mechanical leavening is to assist the baking powder and/or baking soda in your cake formula. It is not to stir the butter and sugar together. It is to help the cake rise. That is the only purpose of creaming butter and sugar. It is mechanical leavening.

    As the beater goes through the margarine, the sugar crystals cut in to the margarine, Those cuts create little pockets. But if you beat for too long you shred the pockets away.

    Those little pockets are very important. Those little pockets must expand and capture the steam during baking. This helps to push the batter up. Then it is certain point the margarine will all melt away.

    Margarine has a melting point of 95°F (35°C), Which is only slightly higher than butter of 90°F (32°C). But both butter and margarine’s ability to stretch and expand during creaming requires that you keep it in a temperature range around 70°F ( 21°C). So if you over beat it the margarine will not expand. Even if you chill it, the batter will still not expand fully in baking.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 21, 2019
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    -Daniel- likes this.
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  3. Akos

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    o_O I'm as confused and speechless as NorCal...45 minutes to cream sugar and margarine???

    Can you upload a picture of your margarine and/or list the ingredients. Because that's not right.

    And now you have me wondering whether margarine is made very differently where you are, or if this is some strange advice passed down from when margarine was new and strange. Maybe some old lady got a bad batch that would not cream? Or it was frozen solid by a cold winter and to soften it she had to beat it by hand for 30 minutes—and she told all her neighbors about this and made them think margarine required beating that long or longer?
     
    J13, Jul 22, 2019
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  4. Akos

    -Daniel- Well-Known Member

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    Here in Mexico I only use Lurpak butter, I'll never use anything else (the other butters have a horrible taste).

    In Ireland I would normally use Tesco butter or Kerrygold margerine. Normally I'd get pretty similar results using them interchangeably.
     
    -Daniel-, Jul 22, 2019
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  5. Akos

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Hi Daniel. Tesco butter is what I normally use, it's my staple. Though I'm buying some President butter this week.
    But I'm just curious, where are you from, are you originally from Mexico, or Ireland? :)
     
    Lee_C, Jul 23, 2019
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  6. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    1564091186484-940262594.jpg
     
    Akos, Jul 25, 2019
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  7. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    15640920071671389041960.jpg the ingredients of the cookbrand margarine.

    As I indicated we have butter (both salted and unsalted) but because they're expensive, for commercial purposes or business, one won't make profit. Most bakers use margarine unless the customer is ready to pay before they'll use butter, and the baked products come out well though. We have Lurpak, Even, Emborg, Mon Village, President and other butter here. So my question was why does it take longer for margarine to become fluffy than butter with the creaming method? Is it because margarine is 100%fat and butter is not?
     
    Akos, Jul 25, 2019
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  8. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Akos,

    It’s not about mass and making the margarine more “fluffy”. I know we use that word when we talk about creaming butter/margarine and sugar, but “fluffy” is not the objective. So let the whole idea of “fluffy” go.

    The objective of creaming The margarine and the sugar is AERATION of the fat.

    It does not matter if we are creaming butter, margarine, or shortening. We cream the fat and sugar for 5 minutes to create cuts in the fat. It just happens when we create those cuts in the fat to create aeration, the fat just happens to look a bit fluffy. But fluffy is not the objective. The objective is to create those pockets in the fat to trap the gas created from the baking powder and/or baking soda. You’re not trying to create any particular amount of fullness in the margarine. It’s NOT about increasing the mass of the margarine.


    Look at the ingredients on the label of your margarine. “Fully refined partially hydrogenated oil” that right there tells you this margarine has been made to behave just like butter. It’s already been softened by being partially hydrogenated.


    If you look further down the label you will see emulsifiers, mono and diglycerides fatty acids and soy lecithin. These are emulsifiers added to ensure the margarine holds together, stays creamy, is soft and behaves like butter.


    In fact the mono and diglycerides fatty acids and soy lecithin are used in commercial cake mix to improve the texture of the cake. And because they are such affective emulsifiers they actually shorten mixing time. I in fact have both of these emulsifiers.


    This margarine is a product of Holland. Which means it would have to be produced under the same standards as the European Union. So there should be nothing unusual about this margarine that would require it to be creamed for 45 minutes.

    I don’t know where you’re getting this information on 45 minutes of creaming time for margarine. But there is nothing in baking science or literature in the US or Europe. Nor is there any such practice here. Surely those who have adopted this practice must have some researched analysis to support their decision.

    No baker can afford to run their mixer for 45 minutes just to cream margarine and sugar. Such would be a waste of equipment time and wear and tear on equipment, and as you pointed out an increase in the cost of business in electricity. So adopting such a practice should not come without legitimate proof that this is necessary.

    Better idea...contact the manufacture of the margarine. Their contact information is on the label.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 26, 2019
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  9. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    Awwww (I'm smiling). Thanks a bunch @Norcalbaker. I wished I could create a whatsapp group for my colleagues to learn from you. Thanks very much. I've been schooled.
     
    Akos, Jul 26, 2019
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  10. Akos

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    I'm still curious about who told you to cream it for 45 minutes...is that the instruction in some old recipe or in a modern one? And in how many of them? I'm still wondering if this meme is thanks to some old lady from long ago...or the butter industry trying to keep you buying butter instead of margarine :D
     
    J13, Jul 26, 2019
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  11. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    You are very welcome Akso. You’re very wise to question a practice that is out of the ordinary, especially one that could be costly in both electricity and wear on your equipment. I always wish your business much success, so I always take the time to answer your questions as clearly and fully as possible.
     

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    Norcalbaker59, Jul 26, 2019
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  12. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much. What can I say? Thanks a bunch
     
    Akos, Aug 12, 2019
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