You may have wondered why we use butter rather than margarine at Carême Pastry as the preferred fat for our premium ‘French’ style puff pastry and shortcrust pastry.
Well, it’s because butter produces superior quality pastry with a lovely flaky texture, more richness, better flavour, and impressive lift. In fact, you’ll find that our traditional All Butter Puff Pastry records 7cm of lift from just a single sheet!
Made from cream, butter is a natural product with a high-fat content of around 80%. On the other hand, margarine (what most store-bought pastry is made with) is an artificial product made from palm oil (vegetable oil). It has a much lower fat content, and thus, a higher percentage of water. Why does that matter? Well, because the greater the fat content the better the quality of baked goods. Therefore, butter trumps margarine for baking every time.
Butter melts at body temperature, and as such, the tasting experience is a superior flaky pastry, with a ‘melt in the mouth’ sensation. Margarine, on the other hand, melts at a higher temperature resulting in a waxy feel in your mouth (kind of like an unpleasant film or coating), and it produces tougher baked goods.
So, it’s not difficult to see why we choose butter over margarine for our pastry, and why you’re baked goods will end up tastier, more consistent, and more beautiful when you choose Carême Pastry.