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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Vegetable Shortening substitute

    Dear Nigella Team, I am really looking forward to making the lovely scone recipe. However, I have not been able to find vegetable shortening in any grocery store. Can I use butter or vegetable oil as substitute? If so, how much? Thanks 

    could you please tell me the british equivalent to vegetable shortning and baking soda .alismith

    From the nigella team:

    Vegetable shortening is a white, solid fat made from vegetable oils. In the UK it is sold under the brand names Trex, Flora White or Cookeen. In the US Crisco is the best known and there is also an organic solid vegetable shortening made by Earth Balance. In Australia the best known brand is Copha.

    Vegetable shortening gives the scones and also pastry a flaky texture which butter cannot replicate. It is usually used in combination with butter to give the best combination of flakiness and flavour. Vegetable oil is not s great substitute as it is too liquid and so cannot be rubbed or cut into the flour. Lard is the best substitute if you don't mind animal fats. If you can't get any of these then butter can be used but the texture of the scones will be slightly different.

    Baking soda is known as bicarbonate of soda in the UK

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