Butter is one of the simplest things to make yourself and so fresh and delicious. All you need is an electric whisk and some double (heavy cream), a bowl of iced water, a muslin cloth and you’re in business. You’re even left with some delicious butter milk to use for pancakes afterwards. This is how I make butter, but the Wikihow advice is extremely clear and includes pictures.
Pour 400ml of chilled, double cream into a large mixing bowl.
Place a large bowl of water in the fridge. Have some ice in the freezer.
Mix with a handheld electric mixer on full speed. It will soon thicken into whipped cream. Periodically scrape down the sides with a spatula and continue to whisk.
Soon the cream will start to ‘granulate’ and change colour from white to yellow. Keep going. You want to continue to whisk until suddenly the yellow granules release a milky white liquid (like thin milk). Keep whisking a little longer, around 150ml of this liquid (it’s buttermilk) should collect in the bottom of the bowl, leaving the buttery fat separate.
At this stage scrape the mixture into a muslin cloth over a separate bowl). Squeeze the cloth quite firmly to release all the liquid. Don’t throw this away, it will keep for a few days in the fridge and makes great pancakes!
The ‘butter’ that you have in the muslin cloth is almost ready, but will now require a ‘wash’.
Take the bowl of water from the fridge and add ice. With cold hands take the butter out of the muslin and ‘massage’ it (gently, you don’t want it to break up) in the water. The water should turn quite milky. Rince it out and fill again. You’ll need to do this a few times until the water is almost clear.
At this stage throw away the water, keep the butter and squeeze again in a fresh muslin cloth. At this stage you can roll the butter out into a cylinder, wrap in greaseproof paper and cling film and place in the fridge (I’ve found it keeps for about a week).
Alternatively, with cold hands, you can also shape it. In the picture I used a ball of butter pressed out with a wooden shaper used for Middle Eastern sweets. Chill these in the fridge until needed.