I can’t believe my last post was two months ago! What have I been doing over that period which has prevented me putting fingers to keyboard?
Well, there was the odd bit of Christmas shopping. There was a play to perform. There was a milestone birthday to celebrate (not mine!) and that entailed going on a mini cruise (fortunately not off the coast of Italy!). There was a Carol Service to rehearse, light and perform. There was, of course, Christmas with all the preparation and celebration. A few days had to be spent visiting the ‘Outlaws’. Cooking for and celebrating New Year’s Eve. A trip to London to take in a musical. Small Person 1 Of 2 had a birthday. A weekend away with 45 other people to complete the milestone birthday celebrations. And one more thing … oh yes, my birthday!
Phew! Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun.
Regular readers will know that I often make observations on people or situations encountered during the day or even pass comment on events of the day. However, to kick start my blogging for 2012 I want to share with you a tip! A tip I have only recently stumbled upon, but you may have known about it for some time.
I like cooking. That’s not the tip by the way! I cook every day for the family, but I also get great pleasure in cooking for entertaining (and there were plenty of opportunities to do just that during the two months since my last post). It’s a time to try out new recipes and to cook with ingredients which I wouldn’t usually necessarily use.
Once such ingredient is cream. That may sound odd, but no one in my household (myself excepted) likes anything creamy or milky. She Who Must Be Obeyed and Small Persons 1 And 2 Of 2 won’t even use butter on toast and don’t really like me adding it to anything. I can’t even use it in mashed potatoes (although I do, but don’t tell them!). We get through less than a pint of milk a week. So, when I get to entertain, and use cream, I invariably throw away more than I use. And I absolutely detest wastage!
It’s very frustrating.
This weekend, for example, I made a very nice (even if I say so myself!) vanilla cheesecake. It required 115ml of double cream. I could only buy a 300ml pot which meant I had 185ml to pour down the drain. And normally I would have done just that otherwise it would have just gone rancid in the fridge. However, and this is the start of my little tip, I poured the contents of the tub into the food processor and turned on the whisk.
I whisked it for about 5 minutes, and what I was left with was 120g of unsalted butter and a small quantity of buttermilk.
So the next time I use double cream, I won’t mind buying a slightly larger than required tub and turning (or should that be churning) the rest into butter, therefore avoiding wastage and saving myself a little money along the way. And, if the recipe calls for unsalted butter and buttermilk, I can now make my own. 🙂
Here’s how I actually did it (it’s very complicated 😉 ):
Ingredients: Double Cream (as much or as little as you want)
1. Pour the double cream into a bowl.
2. Start whisking. After several minutes, the cream will thicken and turn into whipped cream. Keep whisking until the whipped cream has become a pale mass (butter) and a separate liquid (buttermilk).
3. Pour the buttermilk into another container, and use it in any recipe that calls for buttermilk.
4. Massage (or knead, which ever you prefer) the butter in a bowl of cold water for a couple minutes to remove any remaining buttermilk (it will spoil very quickly, if you don’t) and shape into your very own butter ball/block. Then store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
I wish I had discovered this before Christmas; I might have had a go at making my own Brandy Butter for the Christmas pud! Mind you, nothing to stop me trying anyway. 😉