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Rory Bennett said that he had decided to teach himself the skill in response to the ‘buttery apocalypse’ occurring in the UK right now. Instead of trying to find cheaper alternatives, Rory said he was willing to try and learn.
Writing for MyLondon, Rory said: “When I first considered embarking on this endeavour, I thought I might be crazy. Thoughts churned around my head like, well, butter… in a churn. Was it really possible to make butter at home? Would I need a cow? Would I need one of those old-timey wooden objects that you see in film representations of Amish people?
“The answer is actually no, I didn’t. With a little help from a handy Independent article on the subject, I realised that making the golden stuff wasn’t all that complicated, it just took a bit of elbow grease.
“All you need to make your own butter is double cream, a bowl, a hand or electric whisk and a tea towel. ‘How is that possible?’ I hear you cry in the far-off distance. Basically, you split the double cream into butterfat and buttermilk by over-whisking it.
“A recipe by Great British Chefs gives a little more insight: “Home-made butter is incredibly easy to make but sounds rather impressive. Butter begins by over-whipping cream which can be done with an electric mixer. Making your own butter allows you to add any flavouring you desire, so get creative.
“Unsalted butter should be eaten within a few days while adding salt to your butter (which acts as a preservative) allows it to be stored for around 2–3 weeks.
“This is all great, but I had one problem, I don’t own an electric whisk, meaning I had to do it manually. If I’m completely honest using a hand whisk is messier, takes more effort and probably more time but I didn’t care because by the point where the buttermilk began to separate from the butter I genuinely felt like a magician. It feels like you have made butter appear. So, here’s how I did it.
“Put around 500ml of double cream into a bowl, and make sure it is oversized – I found out the hard way that the cream expands as you whisk air into it and had to switch up a size halfway through. Whisk thoroughly for what probably felt like years with the hand whisk and likely feels like a couple of seconds with the electric version.
“You will go through what I will title ‘the stages of cream’ going from whipped cream consistency to something more akin to fondant icing before the cream begins to separate. At first, I couldn’t understand what was beginning to happen but then like a miracle butter started to form with the buttermilk sinking to the bottom.
“I can’t believe it is butter I thought, dancing like an old-fashioned gold prospector. Make sure to pour off the excess liquid, it can be used for all sorts including as a marinade for fried chicken. Get your big chunk of butter and put it into a clean tea cloth and begin squeezing.
“You are aiming to get as much buttermilk out of it as possible. It is also recommended that you submerge your butter in its tea cloth in some icy water, which will help clean and harden it as well as draw out more of the buttermilk.
“That’s it. Simple. And honestly, no lie, delicious.
“I had a celebratory slice of toast with my unsalted butter and it tasted so creamy and fresh that I was really impressed. In terms of price I also saved a bunch of money-making my own. I bought two tubs of cream, 600ml worth, for £2 from Sainsbury’s (there was a sale on, fortunately) but you can get even cheaper from Aldi.
“In fairness, I haven’t made a kilogram of butter but even being ungenerous I probably made around 400g of butter for 2 quid which added up to a kg would be around £5 – so making your own is almost half the price of Lurpak, also its pretty fun but maybe do it with an electric whisk if you have one.”
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