Making semi-soft butter from rock-hard butter, at home.
Butter vs Margarine: ahhhh, the ongoing, market driven argument. Cow milk saturated fat vs chemically altered trans fat? Mmmm yummy. What to choose? What to feed to the small people? How much palm oil is in margarine, and how do the Orangutans feel about that? There’s no calcium in butter, just sodium from the salt. Then factor in prices, and preferences, and you may end up going mad.
Me, I like both, but I prefer butter. I like making it myself and I prefer the taste to margarine. I HATE how hard it is to put on bread. I’d post a photo, but the Society For Prevention Of Cruelty to Bread would come and lock me away.
So… here is my compromise.I buy butter (or make it, but I’ll post that another day), and I make my own semi-soft butter with it. That way I can spread it, and add some oily goodness to it while being in moderate control of what I am adding. It’s easy, too. Observe, if you will! (I apologise for the weird shadowing – we had some sunlight today. Very strange. Makes dark patches in the room, as it turns out.)
To begin: compile the needed things: a clean container for storing (can disinfect if wished, probably a good idea), blender, vegetable oil, measuring cups/normal cups, butter. I soften mine first – usually just leave it out at room temperature, you want soft but not liquid.
To make my semi-soft butterine (heh), I had 500g of butter, and used 354 mls of oil. (Thats one and a half of my measuring cups, you could use a normal cup if you wanted). I heated the oil up in the microwave for 15 seconds, and poured that in the blender first:
Then I added half the butter and whizzed it up..
Then the other half and pressed GO on the machine:
Pour it in the container, put it in the fridge.
This spread so well straight out of the fridge the next day.
I chose sunflower oil to add mostly because sunflower oil is supposedly quite high in Vitamin E ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_oil), and it’s inexpensive. You could easily use a nice olive oil, and I would, if I liked any olive oils. I would really like a good quality cold pressed oil, but will make do with Ye Olde Supermakete Oile until I win lotto or some such.
Another good thing about making this butter semi-soft (apart from increasing the unsaturated fat content, spreading out the salt volume, being able to afford it, knowing there is no palm oil or transfats in it, and being able to USE it straight from the fridge) is that you almost double the volume for a minimal cost. The oil costs about $4, I use less than half of that. Butter costs approx $4 per 500 gram – this makes approx 800 grams for about $6. Spreadable or semi-soft butter costs approx $6.50 for 500grams. And its so easy to do! 🙂