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Which is the role of butter in baking? What can you replace it with?

Hi,
How is your weekend? I hope you relaxed before a new week begins.

I'm very curious if you've tried a new recipe lately. I ask you because I want to offer you today a delicious recipe for muffins with sour cherries and dark chocolate. 

It can also be made with milk chocolate or white chocolate, but also with other fruits. You don't necessarily have to use only sour cherries.
As usual, I will propose a recipe without gluten, lactose and without refined sugar. The recipe is perfect if you have an intolerance or food allergy, or if you want 
to have a healthier diet. In addition to the recipe, I will tell you more about the role of butter in baking.

 

 

But as I mentioned so far, not everything was so easy, not even related to what I ate or the ease with which I made recipes without allergens. Unfortunately in the past I 
did not have so much information about allergies or intolerances, or how to manage them.

Now, even if things aren't 100 percent perfect yet, I feel like I'm going in the right direction. It helped me a lot to eliminate gluten, milk and eggs. I still have work
to do on the cheese side, I love them. Someone asked me what I would choose from a world without chocolate or cheese. And I was very convinced that I could not live 
without cheese. But you see how life is sometimes, you get used to everything, especially if it's important for your health.
 
But as I told you at the beginning, I will give you more details about the role of butter in baking.
 
I have currently replaced butter in cakes with lactose free butter or coconut oil. It is usually replaced in smaller proportions. If, for example, the recipe requires 100
grams of butter, you will use 80 grams of coconut butter / coconut oil, because the butter also contains water. The muffin recipe is made with coconut oil, but you can 
choose what you want to use.
 
If you want to use either coconut butter or coconut oil, I would recommend you to choose good quality products, high in fat, possibly organic products.

You've probably seen different types of butter in the stores before. These are:

· Salted butter - much better to spread on bread
· Unsalted butter - much better for baking, because this way you can control the amount of salt used.

The reason why unsalted butter is recommended in recipes is because you do not know exactly how much salt the manufacturer has added. In the end you can have a very salty
product. How would a very salty muffin cream taste like?
 
Generally, butter suitable for baking contains 80% fat and the rest water. The lower the fat content, the more water it will add to your recipe. And that will have 
consequences.

You may have noticed other times what happened if you added extra water or liquid to the dough. The pastry will be stronger, and the cakes will not grow as well and will 
be dense.

The fat in the butter helps the products to be softer, while the liquids help to hydrate the proteins, found in flour and starch, bind the ingredients together, and add 
moisture to the dough.
The role of butter in baking

· Gives moisture 
· Gives a delicious flavor
· Helps bind proteins and starch while mixing ingredients 
· When mixed with sugar, its granules cut the soft butter and the air is forced into the composition, helping to increase the dough 
· Helps to increase the dough when it is placed in the oven 

The temperature of the butter is also very important. 

· If the butter is soft, its fat can be mixed much better with sugar or flour 
         - it creates a much more homogeneous dough, due to the homogeneous distribution of fat 
         - it must be cold but malleable 
· If the butter is too hot, or melted, it loses its ability to retain air when beaten. 
· Use cold butter when you do not want it to mix too much with the ingredients, to remain intact 
         - it is more common in recipes for tarts, biscuits, pastries 
· Melted butter - sometimes recipes require it 
         - in this case contributes to moisture and flavor, but not to the structure. For example, melted butter is used in muffin recipes. 

Now that you have learned more details about butter, I hope you better understand its role, but probably also why sometimes some doughs did not turn out 100% as they 
should. In gluten-free cakes, I often use coconut butter or coconut oil. It can be used at different temperatures. In the muffins I melted the coconut oil, and for the 
salty tart I used it cold. Both recipes came out very good and had a very good consistency. Even the French tart dough recipe turned out perfectly. I was afraid it 
wouldn't be fragile enough, but coconut oil did its job very well.

As I promised you, below is the link to the recipe for muffins with chocolate and cherries. I hope you try it as soon as possible and like it. 

https://ralucanegrea.com/delicious-chocolate-and-sour-cherry-muffins/

Please give me a reply telling me how it turned out. What experience have you had with butter? What kind of butter do you usually use? 

With love, 
Raluca

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