Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Butter Fail

I went mountain biking this morning, to shake off the aftereffects of helping with the early part of the end-of-year 3rd grade picnic of chaos. Naturally, going mountain biking means making butter.

Normally this is a straighforward process: add a spoonful of yogurt or buttermilk to a cup of cream and let it sit in the bottle overnight on the counter, put bottle on the bike and go for a ride, and drain the buttermilk/rinse the butter when back home.

Not so easy this time, sadly. I realized about halfway through my ride that I had put two cups of cream in instead of one, and they had rapidly whipped and expanded to fill all of the head space in the bottle. Doomed from the start. I figured it'd be no big deal -- just throw the goo in the stand mixer at home and that should be the end of it.

Not so. Ten minutes later, there was still no separation of butterfat solids from buttermilk. It was so warm in the house that I suspsected that was part of the problem. Let's add some ice water to the mess in the mixer to cool it off...

Fling! Watch the ice cube describe a beautiful parabolic trajectory across the kitchen, as the splotches of butter substance that came out of the bowl with it de-adhere and splatter everywhere. The cats will celebrate when they discover the happy scavenger hunt.

Still no separation of the buttermilk out. The gloop had a nice whipped texture, as well as a yummy flavor and aroma, so I delcared it to be "Delicious Buttery Spread". Selling these creations to the rest of the household is all about the right name -- Buns of Happiness (random leftovers chopped up, encased in bread dough, and baked) will be cheerfully eaten, whereas Cheesy Gloop (random leftovers mixed with cheese sauce and baked) is roundly rejected by the small one. In this case, the mystery substance is indeed quite buttery, and delicious!

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