Need Some Help/Advice with Butter-Making Disaster
Posted: 21 June 2008 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello All,

I was not sure as to where I would post something like this, so “General Q&A;” seemed like the safest bet.  I am hoping that someone amongst all of you talented Cooks, Bakers and Foodies would be able to bestow some sage wisdom on me - and help me to rescue some lovely fresh cream that fell victim to one of my “Recipe Disasters” the other day.

I enjoy making my own Homemade Organic Cultured Butter, with which I have never had a problem making - until now.  My usual Starter Culture, which consists of about a quarter cup of Butterworks Organic Whole (Jersey) Milk Plain Yogurt; always turns out the most delicious Cultured Butter - it usually is eaten up before it is a week old.  For some inane reason, this time around I decided to “get fancy” and use a different Organic Yogurt (Seven Stars Whole Jersey Milk Plain) for this batches starter culture.  I did this because I wanted to try making Butter that had been cultured with ProBiotics (l. Casei, Bifidus, etc…), in addition to the usual Bacterial Strains found in Yogurt.  I proceeded as usual and mixed two pints of Butterworks Organic Heavy Cream (I LOVE this stuff) with a quarter cup of the Seven Stars Pro Biotic Yogurt.  I then covered and placed the mixture into my over-the-stove microwave, with the unit’s hood light on.  I have found that when the microwave light is on, the temp inside the unit maintains itself at a constant 80 degrees; which is a perfect temp for culturing cream - and raising bread dough.

O.K., all of that aside, I waited my usual 18 or so hours, and the next day I proceeded to shake the mixture inside it’s Mason Jar - in the belief that it would, at some point, break from the Buttermilk and then solidify into Butter.  WRONG!  The mixture never solidified with the shaken Mason Jar Technique, so out of desperation, I dumped the whole gloppy mess into my KitchenAide, fitted with a wire whisk, and proceeded to whip the living daylights out of it at a speed of 10.  After 5 minutes, I had no progress.  After 10 minutes, I had no progress.  After 15 minutes, I had no progress.  After 20 minutes, I made note of the fact that I now had about a quart of really sturdy whipped cream; I stopped the mixer, poured the glop back into the Mason Jar, capped it, shoved it into my fridge, sat down and had a drink.

I feel safe in saying that I can chalk this one up to my “Kitchen Disasters”.  It just ticks me off that I wasted so much beautiful fresh cream!  I have made Butter (both cultured and not) many times before this, and have used both the Jar Shaking and Mixer Whipping methods to churn with equal success, every time.  I have NO IDEA as to what went wrong here!  All I know is, if you use a yogurt culture with a thickener/stabilizer in it (such as gelatin), then it will “gelatinize” the entire mixture - and your Butter will simply meld with the Buttermilk in one big mass, no separation.  I suspect that the new brand of Organic Yogurt that I used this time around might have had some kind of thickener/stabilizer in it that was not listed on the label.  The only other way to screw up a batch of Cultured Butter is to use a cream that has been ULTRA-Pasteurized (as opposed to just pasteurized) - but that was not the case here.

So - as to not waste anymore of your precious weekend leisure time, let me just cut to the chase and spit it out:

My Homemade Butter failed me, and I now have a one quart mason jar sitting in my fridge filled with a gelatinous pile of whipped, cultured heavy (Organic) cream, that will all go to waste - unless I can figure out some use for it.  Anyone game?  I will entertain any and all ideas here!

Thank you!

BetseyD

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Posted: 21 June 2008 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Mmm, you have whipped creme fraiche! Wonderful!

Here are some ideas that spring to mind:
Sweeten it a bit and use it to ice a cake or cupcakes.
Use it to fill cream puffs.
Use it to top strawberry shortcakes (or some other fruit dessert).
Make a mousse or bavarian.
I wonder if you could use it for ice cream. I’m not sure.
How about cream biscuits?

Give it away—I’d certainly be glad to have some wink

Good luck! If you want to use those cultures in your butter-making, maybe you’ll have to do a two-step process: use a bit of the yogurt to make some home-made yogurt (no thickeners!) and then use that to culture your cream.

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Posted: 22 June 2008 02:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Ya I am with Barbara. Fresh strawberries and a sprinkle of sugar. I agree with your analysis. There probably was some emulsifier in the yoghurt. Although the cream could have been over pasteurized also.

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Posted: 25 June 2008 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hi Guys,

Thank you for the great ideas!  I had been wondering if my “mess” would have been considered Creme Fraiche, and I now have my answer!  After my initial post, I went out and purchased Rose’s Pie and Pastry Bible and started getting some great ideas, similar to your own, on what to do with this whipped mystery.

As a point of interest, Gene, I think that you have something there with the Cream maybe being over-pasteurized.  I tried making another batch of butter, using my Holy Grail Yogurt Culture of Butterworks Plain Whole Jersey Milk Yogurt, and two pints of the Heavy Cream.  Same result.  I buy the Heavy Cream as a special order, by the case (six pints to a case), from my local health food store - as they do not normally stock the Butterworks Cream, just their Yogurt.  The point that I’m trying to make here is that all of this cream came from the same vat-pasteurized batch, and perhaps this particular batch was, indeed, over-pasteurized?  I don’t know, but it seems to be quite a coincidence that, all of a sudden, two batches in a row, my butter is failing me.

I have one pint of the cream left, and have another case on order - to be delivered to the store by tomorrow.  I think that, in lieu of wasting any more Organic Cream, I will use the last pint from this past case to either make ice cream or enrich a quart of my homemade yogurt.  Putting Heavy Cream into my Homemade Yogurt mix always puts out a fantastic end product!  I make my yogurt especially rich as I have a 14-year-old, seriously under-weight (5"4” and 88 Lbs.) son who loves it that way - and he will eat a ton of it when I make it.  The kid is otherwise healthy, except that he cannot gain weight very easily - and has been this way ever since he lost his “Baby Fat” at the age of three!  I was the same way, until I hit my late teens/early twenties and started to (finally) fill out.  Before that, people used to accuse my Mom of not feeding me - which is kind of what I am going through now with Matt (my son).  To make matters worse, I have another son (11-year-old Mike) who has weight issues on the opposite end of the spectrum and needs to lose a few pounds - he is also 5"4” and weighs almost as much as me, like 128 Lbs. - the kid is HUGE!  Then, there is my husband, who accuses me of “Diet Sabotage”, because I am constantly either baking bread, or making homemade high fat/calorie treats and desserts for skinny Matt - which the other two end up eating along with him!

When it comes to my Guys - it would seem as though I just can’t win!

Oh well - such is life.

Thanks again for the helpful suggestions, I will certainly put them to good use.

Take care!

BetseyD

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Posted: 25 June 2008 03:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Well now I don’t know. After a bit of Googling I have to conclude that even ultra can be used to make butter but it doesn’t taste as good. I read reports from people who claim they just shook up containers of ultra and got butter. Mystery

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