Questions and Answers - How To Substitute Shortening for Copha

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I have moved to America from Australia. I have a recipe that asks for 250g of copha. What can I get to substitute for this in America? What are the measurements to equal this quantity? I know it is a coconut based shortening. - Nlsmitty2 (2/12/00)


Vegetable Shortening
- A solid fat made from vegetable oils, such as soybean and cottonseed oil. Although made from oil, shortening has been chemically transformed into a sold state through hydrogenation. Vegetable shortening is virtually flavorless (has a bland, neutral flavor) and may be substituted for other fats (such as butter, margarine, or lard) in baking of pie pastry, cookies, and cakes. Shortening is ideal for pastry, since it blends well with the flour. It can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Vegetable shortening can be found in all grocery stores. One brand name is Crisco.

- Copha is a solid fat that is derived from the solidified coconut oil. It is used primarily in recipes where it is melted and combined with other ingredients and left to set.

Chocolate Crackles
This recipe came from the wrapper on a Copha packet. This recipe was sent to me by one of my Australian readers.

250g (9oz) Copha (a brand of solidified coconut oil)
4 cups of Rice Bubbles or similar puffed rice
1 cup icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup dessicated coconut

Melt Copha in a saucepan over a low heat or in a microwave oven. Mix dried ingredients. Mix with melted Copha until well combined. Spoon mixture evenly into 24 paper patty containers. Set in the refrigerator.

To purchase Copha and Vegetable Shortening, check out What's Cooking America's store.


Follow Up Comments From Readers:

Just thought I'd let you know...... I tried using Vegetable shortening instead of copha........ Dont do it! It was very bad! My fiance is from Australia, and wanted chocolate crackles for Christmas. Here's my version that comes close (seeing as though you can not get copha in the States). Hope this helps out a bit! - Deb (12/25/00)

  • Melt a 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips in a double boiler (or microwave to melt)

  • Add 5 cups of Rice Krispies to melted chocolate, and stir to blend

  • Scoop out into mini muffin cups.

  • Let harden

I noticed you had a question about Copha on your Q&A page, and that someone suggested substituting vegetable shortening (bad idea ... it's definitely not the same thing) ... but there are a couple of sources for Copha in the United States for us expatriate Aussies who can't go another day without a Chocolate Crackle. Cheers - Caroline Carpenter (9/9/01)  

There is a product identical to Copha that is a little more available in the U.S.  You can often find it in European delicatessens.  It is sold under the name of Palmin in the 250g block. Again, it is exactly the same as Copha.  I got mine at Dittmer's Gourmet Meats and Wursthaus at 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View, CA, and just finished making my Chocolate Crackles for the first time in years. - Patty (11/01/08)


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