2 April 2015

Butter


Butter is lovely stuff. I have always preferred it to those plastic tubs of allegedly healthy yellow-white gunge. You know what I mean - low in cholesterol or polyunsaturates or made from olive or rapeseed oil. Now researchers are telling us that there was not much wrong with butter all along. Those plastic tubs of lookalike butter were probably all part of one enormous marketing con trick. I am glad I stuck with butter.

But there's a practical problem with butter. When it is cold it is hard and quite difficult to spread thinly. I think that is one of the reasons why some people still like their tubs of yellow-white gunge. That stuff usually spreads well straight from the fridge. But butter stays hard if it is not allowed to soften at room temperature for an hour or two.

So now we come to the point of this short blogpost. To soften butter, put the amount that you think you will need in a suitable container. Personally speaking, I generally use a glass ramekin. Then stick it in your microwave and heat on full power for about five seconds. Your butter will then be lovely and soft and ready to spread. Larger amounts of hard butter for baking may need a bit longer in the microwave.

This kitchen tip comes to you free of charge courtesy of  The Yorkshire Pudding Corporation - "Advancement Through Innovation".

25 comments:

  1. The Kitchen in Cairns has not had a microwave oven for many years now. Nor do we have a problem with butter staying hard out if the fridge ~ more likely to melt and go rancid if left out.
    But we can still report that we have taken it upon ourselves to road-test the hot cross buns for the rest of the world ~ they are indeed suitable for consumption, toasted with lashings of butter. Yum! Happy Easter to the YP family.

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    1. Good lord! Teachers' salaries must be very low in Queensland if you can't afford a microwave! Happy Easter Carol!

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  2. Okay, another hot tip! I have not used butter or the gunge on my bread for at least 40 years. I don't miss it.

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    1. Are you a monk Red? Man cannot live by bread alone!

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  3. I LOVE butter. We leave ours out all the time and spread it with great generosity upon anything that strikes us (we're talking food here...). My favorite use for butter: Make a regular vanilla angel food cake. Slice it. Put all the slices on a baking sheet and broil until toasty brown. Remove from oven and lavishly butter. Ambrosia.

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    1. Same here - up until the angel food cake bit; I've never made one of those (and I don't think I've ever eaten one, either).
      Bread, butter, cheese and chocolate are my staple diet. Butter is always in its special yellow butter dish outside the fridge, unless it gets really, really hot in summer.

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    2. Two Buttery Ladies! Sounds like a new transatlantic cooking programme. I have no idea what you mean by broiling the angel cake Hilly!

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    3. Broiling: To cook in the oven under the broiler (top element only heats). You can achieve the same results by slicing thinner and toasting in an electric toaster, then buttering.
      Angel food cake is made in a tube pan - It has the benefit of being fat free, made mainly from flour, sugar & egg whites. Delicious!

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  4. I am a butter man and microwave it. I dislike margarine.

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    1. You microwave it? How did you manage to pinch my idea?

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  5. Another method is to take the butter out of the fridge on your way to the shower - the time it takes for the bathroom happenings, getting dressed, shouting at kids to get up, back to kitchen, putting bread in the toaster, putting the kettle on, shouting at kids again, should be enough for the butter to be soft enough to spread.
    By the way, what's spreadable butter? I have sometimes bought it but I daren't look at the ingredients...

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    1. Brian! All that shouting at your lovely kiddies! I am surprised as I thought you were a nice guy who, as a father, used more humane and intelligent parenting techniques! I have never bought spreadable butter so cannot assist you with your enquiry.

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    2. Spreadable butter is (sometimes at least) butter with a bit of olive oil whipped into it to make it soft.

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    3. Thanks Kate. It is quite good, to my not-so-keen taste buds at least, it's very much like real butter and quite common over here - maybe due to the abundance of olive oil?

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  6. I'm another 'butter man'. Can't abide spreads and never did believe they were any more healthy than butter. All things in moderation and butter is no exception. I keep a small butter dish of butter in the bread bin with my home made bread and they keep each other company and are always just right for each other when I need them.

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    1. Pity there isn't a Butter Party to vote for in the forthcoming election.

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  7. I eat butter, but can't eat high carb stuff to put it on, no bread for example. I buy Kerrygold in the tub, it's naturally soft. I put 2 cups of coffee in the blender and add a tablespoon of butter, then mix to a frothy wonderfulness...bulletproof coffee! Irish butter is all the rage here.

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    1. English butter is far superior to Irish butter. There's too much nostalgia and sentimentality around things Irish.

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  8. Thank you Mary Berry

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    1. Not Mary! Goose. Goose Berry.

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  9. The best butter is stuff you have made yourself from 1 day old cream. Add a pinch of salt and eat it on home-made bread - heaven.

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    1. I did make butter once - at Acton Scot Farm in Shropshire. From buttermilk to a pound of butter. Bloody hard work!

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  10. It would have been bloody hard work indeed, if you had been forced to make butter from buttermilk. Like spinning gold from straw, I should say!

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    1. Oops yes! I meant cream of course!

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  11. I only ever use butter...I never use margarine. I can't stand the stuff. And I never use a microwave.

    And having once cooked in restaurants etc. for years butter it always was!

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