I can make butter!!!

One of my favourite blogs at the moment is Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Celia’s blog is filled with lots of wonderful posts about all the food things she makes from scratch such as breads, jams and biscuits.  While trawling through her extensive blog, I found a post on  how to make butter.  I never knew it was so super easy peasy!  All you needed was some pure cream (a few days expired is better) and some salt.  Oh and a mixer that can take a whisk and paddle attachment helps as well.  It seriously only took about 10 mins all up to do.  Here’s some photos of my butter making experience, but go to Celia’s blog post for some detailed instructions.

Add cream to a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment

Previously I used to throw out so much cream.  I’d buy it to make ganache and only ever needed a small amount – less than 100ml from a 300ml carton.  I always kept it with good intentions to use for something else, but the only thing I could always think of doing was whipping it up to add to a dessert.  And that would mean having to the then bake something to go with it.  Then the expiry date would come and go and I hadn’t got my act together to use the cream and out it went.  So now, no more thrown out cream!

Add some salt.  I’m not sure how much.  I didn’t measure how much cream I had before I poured it into the bowl, then I added a pinch of salt and it turned out slightly salty which is ok for cooking/baking, but I’d prefer it saltier for toast.  Then whisk and whisk and whisk until it get’s thick and turns from this:

To this:

Then this:

Once you get to this stage, if you have a splatter attachment, best to put it on, cause it get’s a touch messy!

I also draped a tea towel over the mixer at the back of the splatter attachment as it was going everywhere.  Keep mixing with the whisk attachment until the cream begins to separate into butter and buttermilk. 

I found a good Wikipedia article that explains the churning  process in a bit more detail.  When the butter ‘bits’ (yes, I don’t think that’s the technical term…) come together and form recognisable lumps of butter, switch to the paddle attachment and mix a bit more so that it separates further.

When most of the butter formed a clump, I used a spatula to gather the rest of it together.  I’ve never really used buttermilk, so I didn’t really have any use for it, but if you use buttermilk often, you can sieve the buttermilk at this stage and keep it for something else.

Rinse off the butter to get rid of any more of the buttermilk, then slap it down on a wooden board to get rid of the excess water and to shape it. 

Celia said the butter is less likely to stick to wood surfaces so she used a wooden board slanted over the sink (so the water drains away) and gnocchi paddles to do the slapping, but I don’t have any gnocchi boards, so I improvised with two wooden spoons, using the back of the spoons against the butter so it didn’t leave the spoon imprint and my wooden chopping board.  But if you have the gnocchi boards, use those because it leave some great looking lines imprinted in the butter (see the photo on Celia’s post).
Then after a bit of slapping and shaping, et voilà you should have your own block or stick of butter 😀

Wrap it up in parchment paper (I used baking paper) then I wrapped it up in cling wrap.  I’m not sure how long it keeps for.  I made mine, then went to Melbourne for a week before I could use it then used it over a period of about 6 weeks and it was still good.  But if it doesn’t smell or look good, I wouldn’t use it.

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