Have you ever decided to make your own whipped cream instead of using that aerosol can or tub of frozen goo? Was your heavy whipping cream spinning along nicely and peaking to perfection? Did your phone ring and when you went back to your mixer there were yellowish globs bobbing around in a thin white liquid? That happy little accident you just created was butter. Okay, it wasn’t a happy time at the moment because all the cream you had was in there and your dinner guests were waiting patiently for their dessert to be served. But hey, you made butter. If an insurance company or lawyer isn’t needed when an accident has occurred it qualifies as a happy accident.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Trufflepalooza 2010. You probably didn’t see anything about this on the news (although, it’s growing by leaps and bounds so it could happen next year). My friend Erika, from In Erika’s Kitchen, throws this amazing shindig at her house. This was the second year she put this on. Erika has a line on fresh black summer truffles and transforms these not so pretty fungi into some truly exquisite dishes. This year’s menu consisted of 9 courses of Truffle recipes.
One of the common denominators in the dishes was truffle butter. Since the party, (which Craig was unable to attend due to his mom being in town) I have been craving the stuff. I’ve got truffle salt in my cupboard and I’ve been sprinkling it on pretty much everything, but it’s not quite the same as the truffle butter.
Since I was having friends over this weekend, I thought that I would not only make homemade butter, but I would make my own white truffle butter. Yes, you can buy white truffle butter. But why do that when making your own butter is so easy. Plus, you’ll have truffle salt leftover that you can use in other dishes. Once your store bought tub of truffle butter is gone, it’s gone.
I served the truffle butter with some sea salt (sprinkled on top of the butter) and fresh radishes from the farmer’s market. The remaining butter was spooned into some hot pasta and slathered on slices of Italian bread that were then tossed in the oven to create truffle bread (like garlic bread). Craig is now wishing he had gone with me to Trufflepalooza. Maybe next year.
There’s happy accidents (your homemade whipped cream turns into homemade butter), accident accidents (the person in the car behind you is putting on her mascara at the light and rear ends your car) and not so accidental accidents (you found your significant others Google history and it’s not all TMZ, HuffingtonPost and MyMan’sBelly).
So you were on your partner’s computer, we all do it for one reason or another, and the page that immediately pops up is their Facebook page. Suddenly you completely forget what you went to the computer to do and now you’re eyes are transfixed on that block of friends and the astounding number that appears in the corner. Now you find yourself perusing their friend database and notice that there’s a disproportionate number of the opposite sex on there. Now you start looking a little closer and when you decide to Google one of the familiar names on the list you “stumble” upon their browser history.
WHA-WHA-WHAT!?! Now you find a trail of digital breadcrumbs that include that girl/guy he/she dated several years ago. So now you’re staring at one site after the other that makes your partner either look like a stalker of the worst kind or that they are cheating on you. Now what?
First of all, shame on you for poking around on their computer. You needed to use their computer, that’s not the problem. The problem started when you began poking around on their Facebook page instead of just going about the business you set out to do (unless you were lying about needing their computer so that you could spy on them. Shame on you. But that’s a story for another day.)
But now the damage has been done and it’s time for you to come clean and have a talk with your significant other. You need to start off with telling them what you did. That includes all of your cyber sleuthing. Then apologize and admit that it won’t ever happen again (and mean it). The next step is totally optional but you can ask the questions that are bothering you (and don’t be accusatory). I say it’s optional because you need to be prepared for the answers you may get. Like: “She’s an ex-girlfriend that really turns me on so sometimes I take care of business by looking at her pictures – but she doesn’t mean anything to me.” or “He’s an old friend from high school that hit me up on Facebook and now we chat from time to time.” If you are prepared to hear things like this without flying into a rage, then by all means ask the questions. If you can’t handle hearing something like this, then don’t ask the questions.
People are allowed to have their fantasies (as long as they aren’t acting on it) and their privacy. If you cross the line of either one of those things, without being asked, you run the risk of being hurt and losing their trust.
Homemade Truffle Butter
Makes approximately 3/4 cup of butter
- 1 Pint of Whipping Cream (not ultra pasteurized)
- 1/4 Teaspoon White Truffle Salt
- Sea Salt (preferably Maldon sea salt)
Let the cream sit out to get to room temperature.
Pour the cream into the bowl of your stand mixer and use the whisk attachment. Use the splash guard for your mixer if you have one.(You could also use your food processor for this, but a hand mixer is not recommended.)
Put your mixer on medium speed and let it whisk. (If using a food processor, just turn it on.)
In just a couple of minutes you will see the cream forming stiff peaks (this is where you would take it off if you were making whipped cream).
Shortly after that stage, you will begin to see the cream break into some small clumps and runny liquid (this is where that splash guard comes in handy(you’re starting to see butter).
Then you will see a rather large mass form with smaller bits floating around – that’s butter. (If using a food processor, you won’t really see the granular stage. You’ll hear the processor making a different kind of noise – like there’s something big in there – and there’s your ball of butter.)
Place a wire mesh stainer over a deep bowl.
Pour the contents of your mixing bowl into the strainer.
That liquid is buttermilk. Not exactly like the stuff in the cartons but it can be baked with or you can drink it. Pour that off.
Put the butter into that same deep bowl.
Pour enough ice cold water over the butter until it’s just covered.
Smash the butter around the bottom of the bowl to release the buttermilk left in it (by doing this step you can keep your butter longer than a couple of days, otherwise it will spoil). Pour off the cloudy water.
Keep repeating this step until the water is clear.
Cut the ball of butter in half.
Using your hands, squeeze out as much of the water as possible from both pieces.
Add the truffle salt to one of the butter halves and work it in with your hands.
Either shape the butter or put it into ramekins.
You can serve your homemade truffle butter immediately or harden it in the refrigerator before serving.
I like to serve mine with a little sea salt sprinkled on top if I’m serving it with radishes.
The unflavored butter can be used as is or you can flavor it with any herbs or spices you like.