Help! Trying to make homemade butter...
WHat is wrong with my homemade butter. I am using heavy whipping cream (pasteurized, will expire 7/5/08) to try and make homemade butter. I am using the whisk attachment on my Kitchen aid and it's still at the whipped stage. Per the recipe I should mix it for 5-8 minutes. It's been about 30 minutes and it's still nice and fluffy like whip cream. I even left the cream out to bring to room temperature too! I am mixing it on medium high speed as well. I swore I followed the instructions to the "t", but it's still fluffy. Is it because the cream is about to expire? I didn't throw it away b/c I am hoping you chowhounders' can help me salvage it.
When I make butter from heavy cream I always have my cream ice cold along with my beaters/whisk and my bowl. I use low speed to start and keep increasing my speed as I go. When doing this I can watch my cream go from white and creamy to a pale yellow, then to the yellow and grainy stage as I get to this stage I start slowing down my mixer because when the cream turns to butter and the buttermilk seperates it is very fast and if you don't slow it down you will have butter all over your walls.
Agitation, not the introduction of air, is what's needed to make butter. You'd have better luck with the paddle attachment (butter churns use paddles) than with the whisk. You'll have the best luck using a food processor with the double steel blade. Start with your cream at about 60 degrees. Pour two cups into your food processor fitted with the double steel blade. Process for about 5 minutes, another minute if you don't think it's quite butter yet. Poor off and keep the buttermilk. Pour in some cool water, process briefly, and pour off the wash water. Continue adding some cool water, processing, and pouring off until your wash water is clear. Put your butter in a large, shallow, steel bowl, and press - do not spread or smear - the butter against the side with a spatula until the last of the water is pressed out. You now have butter! None of this is difficult, and it doesn't take long.
Now, about the buttermilk - you have sweet buttermilk, which tastes very rich yet refreshing; it has the taste of cream and a very low fat content. It is delicious cold as is, on cereal, or in coffee. It makes an absolutely killer egg cream.
Once you get the hang of basic butter, try cultured, or European style. Warm your pasteurized cream in a sterile jar to 80 degrees and stir in one or two tablespoons of sour (this is what stores sell) buttermilk - or buy powdered sour cream starter. Use a sterile - briefly boiled - spoon to measure and stir in the buttermilk. Close the jar tightly and keep at 70-80 degrees for 6 hours or so. Sixteen hours or so for sour cream, 5 to 10 for cultured butter. One way to keep the jar warm if the room is too cool is to put it in the middle of a rolled sleeping bag. BTW, this is the same procedure you would use to turn your sweet buttermilk into sour.
Make your cultured cream into butter by the same method as for sweet cream. The buttermilk you pour iff will be sour, like store-bought, and can be used to inoculate the next batch of cream (keep everything that touches it sterile - briefly boiled or fresh from the dishwasher - and watch for spoilage). People have kept cultures, reinoculating fresh milk or cream over and over, for generations - and some still do; but I can't advise that, as I don't know how any reader might be at detecting spoilage, keeping equipment sterile, or starting with pasteurized milk or cream.
After posting this, I looked around at other recipes for cultured butter. Many people fully culture the cream, 16 to 24 hours. I noticed many recipes that inoculate the cream with yogurt rather than buttermilk - that clearly works, too, but I still thing the bacteria is buttermilk yield creamier sour cream and terribly good butter, as well as leaving you with real buttermilk.
One more thing you can do with your sour cream is let it culture for 24-30 hours, place it on some cheesecloth (not the loosewoven stuff sold as cheesecloth, but actual cheesecloth), and hang it on a wooden spoon or dowel over a bowl - you get cream cheese after several hours. Start with whole milk, you get reduced fat sour cream, then Neufchatel. Start with skim, you get non-fat sour 'cream' and delicious nonfat cream cheese. No, you can't make reduced-fat butter. Oh, you can drain your sour cream with a coffee filter, as well; keep the whole thing covered so nothing else tries to culture.
I wonder if you are beating it at too high a speed. Usually when I make my butter, I pour the cream into a tight-sealing jar and shake it as I watch some mind-numbing TV :) (Listen, if I'm going to consume those butterific calories, might as well work some of them off beforehand).
The fat is still in the cream so I'm sure it's still salvageable. Beat it a little more and if it still doesnt take, leave it to deflate, chill, then start again.