Tuesday, January 27, 2015

10-Minute Butter {and Buttermilk} in a Blender

$4.47 per recipe          >1% savings

Question: Did you know that you can make fresh, delicious, butter in the comfort of your kitchen in under 10 minutes?

It's true!

And it's AWESOME... and AMAZING... and DELICIOUS... and impossibly EASY... and so, so, so FUN!

All of the above, and it comes with bragging rights.

My kids have a ball helping me with this, and watching the butter take form. It's magical to witness white liquid turn into a yellow solid before their very eyes.

But wait... there's more. Not only are you making your own fresh butter; you are also making fresh buttermilk!

Buttermilk... that can be used for pancakes, waffles, quick breads, muffins, or cakes. Think of it as a two-for-one deal. All the liquid you'll pour off of your freshly made butter is, in fact, buttermilk. Pretty cool, right?

And since this homemade butter and buttermilk ends up costing the same as the store-bought variety, you are unlikely to make it on a regular basis unless you live on a dairy farm, or have access to cheap or free cream.

However... if creativity is your thing, you are going to LOVE this! When you make your own butter, you can flavor it to fit your tastes!

What a garlic-herb spread for your french bread?

How about strawberry-butter to spread on fresh whole wheat bread?

Need a new idea for an inexpensive (yet thoughtful, creative, and gourmet) neighbor gift? Cinnamon-honey butter is a guaranteed winner.

Sure, making your own butter isn't going to save any money... But it's not going to cost you extra money either.

And nothing can quite beat the taste of fresh homemade butter. The taste-difference from the kind in the store is significant.

As a butter snob, I have to say... this stuff is divine!

Homemade Butter & Buttermilk
Printable Version

*Makes 1 1/2 cups butter, and 2 cups buttermilk

1 pint heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt (opt.)

*You may choose to add other herbs spices, or flavorings to the butter after it has been made.

Place the heavy cream and the sour cream in the blender. Blend. After about 5 minutes, you'll start to see yellow flakes separating from the liquid. Continue blending until the solids have completely separated from the liquid.

Pour the buttermilk into a container. Store in the refrigerator for later use.

Place the butter solids in a bowl. Rinse with cold water, and drain, pressing all the liquid out. Repeat this step till no more buttermilk expels from the butter. (Skipping this step will result in your butter spoiling faster.)

Thoroughly mix in the salt (or other flavorings) if desired. Press into mold lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

1 pint heavy cream - $3.68
1 cup sour cream - $0.79
1/2 tsp. salt - essentially free
TOTAL COST = $4.47

1 quart Marburger Buttermilk = $3.48 ($1.74/pint)
4 sticks (2 cups) Great Value Butter = $3.68 ($2.76/ 1.5 cups)
TOTAL = $4.50

Savings = <1%

Friday, January 23, 2015

Lemon Glazed Berry Cake

Oh. Man.

I seriously love this cake! 

...So much.

I imagined it to be something that my favorite fictional character, Elizabeth Bennett, would have at tea time. Whether that's anywhere close to the truth, I have no idea... it's just what I thought of while I was sticking crumbs from my empty plate on my fingers and licking them off. 

I loved every morsel of it!

And don't even get me started on how my daughters feel about it. They completely devoured every bite I gave them and begged for more. Perhaps the trickiest thing about this cake is figuring out how to justify making it last longer than a day or two... particularly when your kids pull out all the stops coming up with strategies to get more. 

The little hooligans completely ambushed me, and they did NOT hold back.

There were puppy-dog eyes, sugar-coated words about how I'm the bestest mom ever, tantrums, bartering, and all kinds of coercing tactics thrown my way... before I knew it, they had me convinced that it was perfect for breakfast. 

Cake. For breakfast. I think that was a first in my home.

That gorgeous cake lasted two days. 


My kids walked all over me.

I got the idea for this cake when I stumbled upon a recipe for triple berry cake from Smitten Kitchen, adapted it to my tastes with the ingredients I had on hand, and I tell you what...


The cake batter is utterly and completely amazing. I will be doing more experiments with it in the future. It tasted incredible, and was so light and moist. The berries and lemon glaze added little bursts of intense sweet and tangy flavors. 

Simply divine.

However, I must offer this caution:

If you are a push-over, (like I am, apparently...) you have to be okay with your kids eating copious amounts of cake in a relatively short period of time.

Not to mention the fact that you're going to have a hard time staying away from it yourself. 

This cake turns out so pretty, and would be a perfect dessert to serve at any get-together function. Just come prepared with recipe cards, because you are going to be getting requests. Trust me.

Lemon Glazed Berry Cake

*Serves 12

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla 
*3/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries, thawed and separated (you may use fresh)

*You can make the buttermilk by adding 1 Tbsp of lemon juice to regular milk to make 3/4 cup total.

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on a high setting to beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until fluffy. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla. Mix for 3 minutes. Add half of the flour and half of the  buttermilk. Mix with the hand mixer on low to combine. Add the other half of the flour and buttermilk. Continue to mix until flour and buttermilk are fully incorporated.

Pour 1/3 of the batter into a greased 9 or 10 - inch springform pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the frozen mixed berries over the top of the batter. Spoon the next 1/3 of the batter over the top of the frozen mixed berries, spreading gently to avoid coloring the batter with berry juice as much as possible. Sprinkle the next 1/3 of the berries over the top. Repeat with the last 1/3 of the batter and berries.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean. Let cool completely before removing the outer springform ring.

In a small mixing bowl, beat 1 Tbsp of butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Beat until butter in fully incorporated. Add 1 more Tbsp. of lemon juice. Beat until glaze is smooth. Using a spoon, spread the glaze over the top of the cake. Allow the glaze to set before serving.

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