Cultured Butter in 3 Fabulous Flavours
Old-fashioned cultured butter is easier to make at home than you think. Ours comes in three fabulous, all-natural flavours: garlic & herb, vanilla bean and cafe de Paris.
For the past few weeks I’ve been encouraging the kids to think, probably more than usual, about where their food comes from.
We have been researching and quizzing each other with questions like how certain foods are made and what goes into the making of them. It has been so much fun! And a great way to teach kids about clean food. We’ve realised that if it can be made from scratch at home, in the same way our Grandparents made their food, then for the most part it should be good for us. A mantra I’m sure many of you are familiar with from Michael Pollan’s food rules.
Short of renaming the blog to Homemade Food, we have continued our infatuation with everything homemade. We’ve canned a few batches of crisp fermented Polish dill pickles, strained our own cream cheese, made juicy fish fingers, burgers and, of course, produced gummy bears galore.
I was driving the kids to school the other day when a new homemade thought crossed my mind: I wonder if the kids know where butter comes from. I asked the question. “From cows!”, they exclaimed in unison. “Yes, but do you know how it’s made?” was followed by a short spell of uhmms before Zac said it was made out of milk in some way or another. Pleased with the answer I suggested we made some at home.
What is Cultured Butter?
Cultured butter is made using creme fraiche, which is fresh cream fermented with cultures – in a similar way to yoghurt. It lends the butter a slight tang. You can use fresh cream just as well, but in that case the butter will have a more sweet, creamy flavour. Both are prepared the same way.
While we used a stick blender’s whisk attachment to churn our butter in minutes, my Mum mentioned the more traditional method of… shaking cream in a jar until there was a distinct “sloshing and thudding” sound — the point at which the fat solids had separated from the whey.
The 3 Classic Flavours
Garlic and Herb is one of our favourites to go on a toasted baguette. I’ve found the ingredient list on store-bought garlic butter spread filled with too many fake ingredients to bother. It’s also a simple pleasure under some jam. Since trying Cafe deParis butter at Rockpool a while back, we have both fallen in love with the salty, curried concoction of flavours that goes fantastically well with beef. You can find the full recipe here. Although I think Vanilla Bean Butter might seem a little ususual, it is perfect, however, for drizzling over grilled prawns, scampi and lobster.
- 200ml creme fraiche
- seeds from 1 vanilla stalk or ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon freshly crushed garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon fresh chives
- 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon Italian herb mix
- Place creme fraiche into a 2-cup capacity jug or bowl and whisk using an electric mixer or a stick blender with a whisk attachment for 2-3 minutes. As you're processing, the cream will first resemble whipped cream in consistency. Continue whisking until you hear a "sloshing" sound and the fat solids begin to separate from the whey. Continue to work the butter for another minute.
- Transfer butter and whey into a cheesecloth-lined sieve placed over another bowl. Wrap into a ball and squeeze out the whey - you can use the whey to add to smoothies or use in baking. Add flavourings of choice and mix well.
- Wrap the butter tightly in a sheet of cling film or wax paper and store in the fridge or freezer.