Every so often I come across a new product at the grocery store that is calling my name. I had spied this Nutiva shortening a few weeks ago, and finally decided to splurge and give it a try.
The problem with shortening for those of us with food allergies is that most shortening is combination of oils (and sometimes other ingredients) -- and each ingredient added means that some set of folks out there can't use it. Until now, the only single ingredient products I have found that can be used as shortening are coconut oil and Spectrum Organics shortening (all palm fruit oil). The Nutiva shortening caught my eye because it's just palm fruit oil and coconut oil.
The product actually contains two types of palm oil -- palm fruit oil and red palm oil. Red palm oil is red in color when in its natural state. This is likely what accounts for the deep golden yellow color of the shortening:
I put the shortening to the test on a cake recipe that I've been working on -- the type of cake where you must cream the sugar with the shortening. And I was disappointed. No matter how hard I tried (or how long I mixed) my batter ended up lumpy. I considered dumping it, but decided to go ahead and bake it and see what happens. In the end, the cake was okay, but I think I'll stick with my old standby's for shortening: