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Do you have to have room temp butter if you use a KA stand mixer?

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I know a lot of recipes recommend letting food come to room temp before cooking. I made a cake with my new KA mixer, and the butter was softened, and I think it was too soft b/c the mixer is so powerful. Is that possible?

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  1. You should mix the butter on the lowest setting, so it becomes smooth but does not melt. Butter straight from the refrigerator is too hard and will just come flying right back out of the mixer, so it needs to be room temperature (or close to it) to soften correctly.

    p.s. Glad to see you are enjoying your mixer.

    1. I let butter sit out about an hour when I'm baking with the KA, not the usual time I would mixing by hand. Yeah, it's definitely possible to melt butter in the KA with the right conditions.

      1. Yes, because although you can beat butter easily into submission with a KA you also beat in a lot of air. Or maybe there is another technical reason but I can certainly vouch that it just isn't the same. You cannot outsmart room temperature ingredients.

        1. Different times of year, "room temp" will be different things. It needs to be pliable. I think if it was totally mushy to begin with, it's too soft. But direct from the fridge is too hard. It's a Goldilocks thing... aim for just right.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jennalynn

            Yeah, "pliable" is the perfect description. Butter that bends but doesn't squoosh is a good temperature to make a batter.

            1. re: Jennalynn

              That's the key point. Room temperature is very different for different people. We keep our house on the cool side (around 67 or so degrees) most of the year except during the summer months when it gets up toward 73 or 74 degrees. During the summer (when, honestly, I don't bake much at all) the butter would get too soft if I let it come all the way to room temp. During the rest of the year, room temp seems to work very well.

            2. I usually do not wait until it comes to room temp as that is a bit too soft for most things. Beating the butter, with a kitchen aid or hand mixer will help it soften up quickly. Even more if there is sugar beaten in with it.

              1. The idea is to beat some air into your mixture. Can't happen if the shortening is at either temperature extreme. If you follow a reliable recipe, don't worry about it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mpalmer6c

                  It also depends on what you are using the butter for. If it's for a sugar dough or biscuits,
                  you want to mix in diced, cold butter with the dry ingredients. If you are using the butter for creaming method like cake batters and icing, then room temp is ideal.
                  If I'm in a jam and want to soften my chilled butter straight out from the fridge,
                  I nuke at the lowest to medium power (depends on your microwave), watch it every
                  10 seconds and feel, pretty quickly, you'll have "room temp" butter...