I need an end to the age old debate. Whats better margarine or butter? and why?
Butter tastes nicer, and gives a better texture, but marg is cheaper. If you are adding flavourings, feeding to children or sending to a bake sale, use marg. If you are making a classic Victoria sponge for the village show use butter.
Also, butter needs softening out of the fridge first, so marg is great if you forget.
I heard a tip.. butter for 'flat' recipes e.g pastry/shortbread and marg for 'fluffy' recipes like cakes/buns.
Butter. Everytime. For everything.
Salted though. Cant afford unsalted. I havent had a complaint yet.
If you are looking for lightness then marg is your fat of choice.
For taste and slightly firmer cakes then butter.
BUTTER!!! Every single time. Margarine is MUCK. and cakes last far longer made with butter, too. and are far,far moister.
You could compromise and do half and half which will keep costs down but I do agree that butter is probably wasted on kids bake sales. Mary Berry favours soft marg like Stork for a lighter bake and I have used Utterly Butterly when it is on offer with good results. If you were doing a something like ginger cake which is highly spiced with treacle, ginger etc, then the flavour benefit butter brings is lost. As for cakes made with butter lasting longer, in most families, cakes don't hang around for more than a couple of days anyway.
I always baked cakes using butter only until I saw Mary Berry saying cakes made with soft Stork margarine were better. I tried it but didn't like the texture or taste so back to butter for me. Anyone want half a tub of Stork?
I always use unsalted butter for buttercream and stork for the actual cake, never had a problem and the cakes are delicious.
I always use stork for sponge cakes.
I'm to set in my ways to change to butter now. I find the cakes made with butter greasy.
I use slightly salted butter for butter cream. Tastes lovely and goes really pale. Perfect for colouring.
I can't stand the smell of marge, so the idea of putting it in something I want to eat...no.
I was trained by Betty's and they don't even allow you to say "marg" let alone use it! But I know people who think they get better cake results with it.
Lurpack Spreadable is my secret weapon, it makes the tastiest lightest cakes ever
How is margarine made?
Taken from this forum
How margarine is made- DISTURBING!
Ever wonder how is margarine made?
Many people probably know it is made by a process called hydrogenation. But few are aware of the details of what goes on during hydrogenation.
Here is a step-by-step description of the hydrogenation process.
How is margarine made: Step 1
Margarine makers start with cheap. poor quality vegetable oils, such as corn, cottonseed, soybeans, safflower seeds and canola.
These oils have already turned rancid from being extracted from oil seeds using high temperature and high pressure. Rancid oils are loaded with free radicals that react easily with other molecules, causing cell damage, premature aging and a host of other problems.
The last bit of oil is removed with hexane, a solvent known to cause cancer. Although this hexane subsequent removed, traces of it are inevitably left behind.
Unfit for consumption
Moreover, some of these oils are not suitable for human consumption to begin with.
Cottonseed oil, one of the most popular margarine ingredients, has natural toxins and unrefined cottonseed oil is used as a pesticide. The toxin, gossypol, is removed during refining.
Cottonseed oil also contains far too much Omega-6 fatty acids in relation to Omega 3. While both Omega 6 and Omega 3 are essential fatty acids, an imbalance between the two is widely believed to cause various health problems, including heart disease.
Most experts on the subject believe that a healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is between 1:1 and 1:2. Cotton seed oil, however, has over 50 percent omega 6 and only trace amounts of Omega 3, giving a ratio of 1: several hundred or more.
As cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops, there are also concerns that cottonseed oil may be highly contaminated with pesticide residues. However, insufficient testing has been done.
Canola oil, which is widely touted as the healthiest oil of all, has problems as well. Consumption of Canola has been linked with vitamin E deficiency as well as growth retardation. For this reason, Canola oil is not allowed to be used in the manufacture of infant formula.
The oils used for making margarine are also among the Big Four genetically modified crops soy, corn, rapeseed / Canola and cotton.
How is margarine made: Step 2
The raw oils for making margarine are steam cleaned. This destroys all the vitamins and antioxidants.
However, the residues of pesticides and solvents that is, hexane remain.
How is margarine made: Step 3
The oils are mixed with finely ground nickel, a highly toxic substance that serves as a catalyst for the chemical reaction during the hydrogenation process.
Other catalysts may be used, but these, too, are highly toxic.
How is margarine made: Step 4
The oils are then put under high temperature and pressure in a reactor.
Hydrogen gas is introduced. The high temperature and pressure, together with the presence of nickel catalyst, causes hydrogen atoms to be forced into the oil molecules.
If the oil is partially hydrogenated, it turns from liquid into a semi-solid.
Trans fats are formed during partial hydrogenation. These are fat molecules that have been twisted out of shape. In liquid oils, the molecules are bent, with the hydrogen atoms on opposite sides of each other.
During partial hydrogenation, the molecules are somewhat straightened and now all the hydrogen molecules are on the same side.
If the oil is fully hydrogenated, it turns into a hard solid that cannot be eaten. It no longer contains trans fats because the "out of shape oil molecules have all been broken up to form straight chains. But this does not mean they have become healthy again because of all the unnatural steps above.
How is margarine made: Step 5
What comes out of the partial hydrogenation process is a smelly, lumpy, grey grease.
To remove the lumps, emulsifiers which are like soaps are mixed in.
How is margarine made: Step 6
The oil is steam cleaned (again!) to remove the odor of chemicals. This step is called deodorization and it again involves high temperature and high pressure.
How is margarine made: Step 7
The oil is then bleached to get rid of the grey color.
How is margarine made: Step 8
Synthetic vitamins and artificial flavors are mixed in.
A natural yellow color is added to margarine, as synthetic coloring is not allowed!
In fact, early last century, all coloring was not allowed and margarine was white. This was to protect consumers so that they do not get butter and margarine mixed up.
How is margarine made: Step 9
Finally, the margarine is promoted to the public as a health food with the full endorsement of many scientists, doctors, nutritionists and health authorities.
I'd prefer to use butter every time.
Marg makes vile cakes. I'd rather use butter & bake less than use that muck.
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