Well, I can do butter. Easy. Done it at least three times now. But as the level slowly drops on the Western Star Spreadable, I know that it’s time to take the next step.
And I’ll tell why I’ve been hesitant. All of the Thermomix recipes for butter you can spread from the fridge are the same and look highly dubious to me. You weigh your butter and add the same weight of oil AND the same weight of water. Sounds like a recipe for a mess to me, and not terribly buttery. I don’t want to be able to pour the stuff onto my toast, I’d just like to be able to scrape off a curl rather than slice it from the fridge.
I’ve been putting it off long enough that one of the cartons of cream I have is old enough to fret about life and as a result is maybe a touch sour. The other pot is fine, though. What the hell, I’ll bung them both in, with half a teaspoon of salt. The sour one is a brand I haven’t used before, Country Valley, or something similarly bucolic. The fresh one is whatever I get from Harris Farm, I’ve always found it to be a little thick. So of course I get a result that’s delightfully different from the last three batches I’ve made, when there’s been no variables. It’s a much lighter colour, separated more easily and seems to be fluffier.
I still get four hundred grams of butter from six hundred millilitres of cream. Because I’m experimenting, I divide it in half. Half goes into the butter dish to be used as required in making dinner and baking.
Half goes back into the jug for a new life. I’ve weighed it, and it’s a bit under half, 180 grams. I think we’ll take this slow, so I only add forty grams of grape seed oil. I’m not going to add water because I’ve just had a whole lot of buttermilk sieved into a bowl, I use forty grams of that. I whip it at speed five for about a minute.
What we’re doing here is forcing the water and the fat to mix, with the help of the oil. It’s a bit counterintuitive, I’ve just separated the water from the fat to make the butter from cream, now I’m forcing some of it back in. You can do it with emulsifiers, or you can do it with brute force like we’re doing here. It seems softer than my butter control, so I slap it into a dish and stick it in the fridge.
And here we are after a needlessly longwinded P&F meeting, ready to have a bit of toast before going to bed. What do you know, it’s about the same consistency as the Western Star we use, needs a bit of persuading, but definitely spreadable. I wasn’t after a marshmallow foam type consistency. Just cream, water and grape seed oil, no emulsifiers, no colouring, no flavouring. Actually, you could do this with any butter you buy, cream it as if you were going to make a delicious biscuit, then before it knows what it’s about, whip some water and oil into it. Spreadable whatever you like.