When my sister and I were little, our grandma used to make us freshly whipped butter. We’d have it on Breton biscuits and I can still remember how delicious they were. Somehow, I’ve never made butter. My mum and sister have made it together several times I discovered a few weeks ago. Apparently, any time the two of them have made whipped cream it’s always ended up as butter. Had I realised how easy it is to make I would have made it years ago.
My first attempt at making butter was actually the result of a mistake. I whipped up batch of vanilla cream to go with my Easter desserts and then forgot to serve it. Never fear, because when life gives you whipped cream, make butter (and buttermilk)! You can make this with a hand-held mixer, or, if you’re really strong, by hand but the easiest way is to use a stand mixer. Start with the whisk attachment and beat the cream and vanilla until it becomes firm. If you don’t want to make vanilla butter, leave out the vanilla or substitute it for salt.
This is what it should like like at this stage.
Change the beater over to the paddle attachment and continue beating.
This is what it will look like when the butter and buttermilk separate. So exciting!
Using your hand, press all the butter together into a ball.
Remove the butter ball from the buttermilk.
Strain the buttermilk and refrigerate it for later use in brilliant baked goods.
Now it’s time to ‘pat’ the butter to get rid of any remaining liquid. Traditionally, this is done with wooden paddles so as not to melt the butter, failing that you can use your hands. Gently pat the butter from one hand (or paddle) to the other until all the liquid is gone then gently pat with cloth to completely dry it.
Spread your homemade vanilla butter on a warm muffin, some toasted banana bread, or a warm-out-of-the-oven slice of cinnamon tea cake. Fresh butter keeps in the fridge for about two weeks. Make sure you keep it in an airtight container or it will take on any lurking fridge flavours. The buttermilk will keep for about 2 weeks as well. Enjoy!
- 600ml (2¼ cups) thickened cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it's very stiff then add the vanilla and mix it through.
- Change over to the paddle attachment and keep beating until the butter forms. It will turn yellow and separate from the buttermilk.
- Pat the butter between your two hands or two paddles until the liquid has been released then pat dry with a cloth. Strain the buttermilk into a separate container and refrigerate.
- Refrigerate the butter in an airtight container.