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Using Margarine


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Yay for this topic :) I use Earth Balance sometimes in my baking bc I get some minor bad reactions to dairy. Lately, I've been baking more with real butter and milk and just limiting the amount of cookies/cake slices I eat.

Reasons I do not like using butter substitutes:

- A feeling that I'd like to use the closer to nature product.

- Wanting to have the original taste and texture that the product was "meant to" have.

- Trans-fats (until transfat free products came along).

I feel grateful that trans-fat free dairy substitutes are so easy and cheap to buy. I think I can take care of some of the last vestiges of feeling ...deprived thru this discussion of products made Better by margarine.

Trans-fats...One my bosses likes Country Crock on her cinnamon toast. I wonder if I can pop out the margarine mass from the plastic tub and replace it with a similarly shaped piece of Earth Balance.

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I use Earth Balance sometimes if I'm making meat or chicken for dinner. I can avoid it by making a fruit dessert, but somehow coffee always needs cake, and cake needs butter, so I use Earth Balance sometimes if I'm making meat or chicken for dinner .... :rolleyes:

Earth Balance is actually pretty good. I once made Dorrie Greenspan's Linzer Sables using that stuff, and they were still very very good. I've also made cakes with it (pistachio cardamom cake comes to mind), and it was also excellent. I think partially this is because those two items (which really stand out in my mind) have such strong flavors (cloves for the cookies, cardamom for the cake.) I don't think I'd use it for something like a buttercream though. I'd just make something else. And I don't usually serve bread with dinner, so that takes care of needing something like butter on the table.

The situation is very different if you're running a kosher business where people want baked goods that are pareve. Then there's not much choice, it's either margarine or use a recipe that doesn't call for butter in the first place, there are quite a few nice cakes like that.

But if I'm making a dairy meal, I don't even consider using margarine. But it might be "stigma" more than anything else.

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Just wanted to add many margerine's contain whey, so if you're having vegans over be sure to read the ingredients.

Very germane to this discussion, since I assume that also applies to those keeping Kosher. I guess keeping your eye out for the "Pareve" label is critical... I assumed that margarine was by definition non-dairy.

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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Right - if it says Parve it contains no whey. Many margarines are dairy and it used to be hard to find one that wasn't.

Rebecca, you can only have so many angel food cakes. :wink: Sometimes you want a brownie or a pie crust.

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Well for buttering things like crackers I use Brummel and Brown. We recently switched from I think it's called Smart Balance. But the Brummel & Brown has way less well can't remember what was less but overal has 50% less fat and no cholesterol than real butter and anyway it has better stats than the heart healthy stuff we had been using which is why we switched.

It is dairy though. Made with yogurt. Tastes great. I've never baked with it. I don't really have any faith in margarine anymore to be honest. I just don't really feel like experimenting either. So this is a great thread to find out.

The package says there are recipes on their website at BrummelandBrown.com. Wonder if they're any good...

The butter spray called I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is nice for veggies and popcorn. I never tired it on a muffin or anything like that.

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The package says there are recipes on their website at BrummelandBrown.com. Wonder if they're any good...

So I just checked this website and I would not even experiment with this for baking. It's mostly water anyway. You need at least more fat in baking than water. I'm thinking cookies, brownies and cake in particular. It would ruin any kind of pastry dough.

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Earth Balance is vegan. I actually don't know of any others that are vegan, though there may be a few. Most contain some sort of dairy ingredient. This is also the case when you're looking for cheese alternatives. You would think that if you're going to make a soy or almond cheese that there wouldn't be any animal products in it, but no, most contain whey or rennet or something else. In fact, Vegan Gourmet makes the only vegan cheese that even melts. I still don't like it, but I guess it's better than no cheese at all.

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Earth Balance and Smart Balance are vegan (parve). Fleishmann's has one that contains no dairy products, but I haven't seen it in a long time. Then there are brands like Migdal, Farm's Creamery, Mother's and Mehadrin -- with the exception of Farm's Creamery, they are made for the kosher market.

Non dairy-cheeses is another topic, but tofutti makes slices and cream cheese and sour cream. There are others, but I haven't tried them.

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Earth Balance and Smart Balance are vegan (parve).  Fleishmann's has one that contains no dairy products, but I haven't seen it in a long time.  Then there are brands like Migdal, Farm's Creamery, Mother's and Mehadrin -- with the exception of Farm's Creamery, they are made for the kosher market. 

Non dairy-cheeses is another topic, but tofutti makes slices and cream cheese and sour cream. There are others, but I haven't tried them.

We keep strictly kosher, and I always use Fleishman's unsalted margarine for baking. It works fine- I still get a lot of compliments on my cookies! :biggrin:

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If you look at Fleischmann's website, at the bottom right hand corner, the green unsalted spread in a tub is non-dairy.

eta: I don't think I've ever seen their sticks here, and I don't know about them.

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Rebecca, you can only have so many angel food cakes.  :wink: Sometimes you want a brownie or a pie crust.

That's what parve or dairy meals are for, in our house! Brownies can be made without milk or butter, easily- fruit butters or applesauce are fantastic in brownies.

They make a very moist brownie, not a cake one. Some parve brownie recipes are almost a fudge, they are so rich tasting.

Seriously, the only reason for using margarine is as a substitute for butter. If you are looking for 'legal' cheats, be it for a vegan, dairy free or kosher, that's it. Well, there IS vegetable shortening, ala Crisco- I hear a lot of people use that for pie and flaky pastries. Not to hijack the thread, but if it's because you are keeping the mitzvah of kashrut then you might not even want to make substitutes, you can just say that there is a time for everything, and everything in it's time.

Or, you could just give up meat, so that you can have dairy brownies and buttercream at every meal! :wub:

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My mother insists that Kraft Mac n Cheese made with Parkay margarine is the one true mac and cheese...

I don't think she's alone. I think there are people who feel that certain recipes work best with margarine. I want to hear about those.

sauce for Buffalo chicken wings

My "research" indicates that the genuine and authentic version uses margerine. But I can't bring myself to buying margerine and storing it in my fridge. So, I make it with my beloved butter.

So, what's better? Making it authentic, even if one of the ingreidents is something that a lot of us would consider nasty, or making a substitution to use something we think is superior?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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