As others on this board pointed out, making butter at home is ridiculously easy. I baked some bread last night and realized I had no butter to eat with it. But I did have about a quarter cup of heavy cream left, which was probably not going to be used for anything else. Out came the hand mixer and a small mixing bowl.
I whipped the cream until it was well past being whipped cream. Finally, it hardened enough that it began to break into chunks. Still, it didn't look or taste like butter, and was very soft. It was still just ruined whipped cream. I tried mixing it some more, but had difficulty because it was such a small quantity and wanted to splatter up the sides of the bowl. I scraped down the sides and turned the beater a little lower. It thickened a bit, but not much.
I figured I'd eat soft butter, but wanted to add a little sea salt first. Almost immediately after I added the salt, the butter began giving off large amounts of whey. I assume the salt sucked out the moisture in the cream. It was amazing! Soon, the cream had turned slightly more yellow. I kept dumping the whey and continuing to mix until the butter stopped giving off liquid. I had about two tablespoons of butter.
The result was an incredibly soft, creamy butter in which the sweetness of the Strauss heavy cream really shone through. I love when I find out how easy it is to make things that most people buy at the store. And in this case, it really does taste better than storebought, and took no more than ten minutes including cleaning time. It might have taken longer if I'd made an actual pound of butter and not a few pats.
QUESTIONS for butter makers:
Do you have a similar experience when you add salt? Do you beat in salt the way I did, or do you fold it in after you're done?
If you do this with a stand mixer, do you have to switch to the paddle at some point or does the whisk do the whole job?
What have you mixed into your butter besides salt or honey?
Sorry the photo is so dark; this all happened an hour before bed.