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I Can’t Believe It Is Butter!

This is another entry from the “Holy crap it worked!” file.

This morning, during the day’s ritual net-trawl, M discovered this link: Easy Butter, and, well, it’s just wonderful.  I’ve never been much of a butter eater — I don’t dislike it, but I’ve never had butter or margarine on my toast or sandwiches, so I haven’t tasted it much — but earlier this year, M got into French cooking.  It turns out the secret to awesome cookery is butter, butter, salt, wine and butter. (oh, and shallots. Lots and lots of shallots.)  Between the souffles, french bread and the fresh croissants, M has been on a royal flush of cooking.  So making our own butter was, I suppose, a natural evolution.

I really encourage you to follow the above link; Dutch Girl goes into a fair bit of detail, and her (I assume it’s a her) photography is exquisite.  She recommends that you pop some thickened cream and a generous dash of salt into a food processor, and hit the “go” button until, well, until it turns into butter.  M proceeded as directed, until the food processor gave a festive “FZZT”, as well as a jolly flash, and shorted out completely.  Piece of crap.  We transferred the now-very-very-thick cream into the blender, where one short whirr of the blades sent the thick cream spattered evenly around the glass walls of said appliance, rendering the continued whirring of the blades all but pointless.  With a gay laugh, we scraped the now-very-very-very-thick cream into a bowl and whipped out the Bamix.  It was my turn, so I covered the bowl with a tea towel, slipped the Bamix in and whipped away.  For a while, it was pretty uneventful, as whipping cream so often is, but then there was a sudden “sploosh!” and I lifted up the tea towel.

Lo and behold, the bowl of very thick cream had miraculously transformed into a bowl of creamish water and chunky, yellow cream blobs.  I drained off the creamish water (I believe the more high-falutin’ cooks refer to it as “buttermilk”, and if you’re making enough butter, you’ll get enough buttermilk to use in cooking or soap-making or whatever) and kept whirring, and this happened a couple of times; each time, I drained off the buttermilk and kept whirring.  Eventually, we ended up with this glorious product:

I’ve never seen anything like it.  It’s rich yellow, soft, smooth, and completely, utterly delicious.  It’s wonderful.  (The recipe suggests pressing it through a fine mesh sieve to get it really smooth and squeeze out the remaining fluid, but we decided not to, in favour of taking the dog for a walk.  Balance in all things.) Provided you have a food processor that doesn’t short out completely, this would be a really, really easy product to make.  And, as Dutch Girl says in the link above, you can then go on to flavour it with chives, spring onions, garlic (ooooh baby), chilli, lemon and lime zest, or any tasty treat you like.  I can’t wait to make our own garlic and chive butter to spread on our own hot bread.  Oh man.

Incidentally, my Mumini runs a childcare centre, and she has commented in the past that they have let the preschool-age children make butter, through the use of a tablespoon of cream, and a marble, in a milkshake shaker (you know, one of those hand-held plastic jobs that you shake all about).  She says the kids love it.  M tried it ages ago and it took hours and hours, he reckons.  I think I like the food processor method much better.

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