The Many Faces of Sweet Cream

4 Sep

This weekend I did a little baking. Partly because I told some friends I would bake for a get together, and partly because of this. If you’ve seen me in the last week, that was playing in my head. I don’t mind it so much, mostly because I have a great deal of love for Julia Child. Also it finally knocked “Call Me Maybe” out of my head, which had been haunting me for a month.

So what I made was Strawberry Shortcake. I forgot to snap a picture of the final product so I don’t have that, but this isn’t so much about what it turned out to be, as what I discovered while making it.

Quick rundown of how I make it:

-a big thing of strawberries cut up and marinated in sugar for however long

-Kroger (or Bisquick or whatever) all-purpose baking mix. The back of the box has a boat load of recipes. Follow the one for shortcake

-Beat some heavy whipping cream, sugar, & vanilla for the whipped cream topping

I won’t insult you by explaining how it all goes together in the bowl.

Anyway, the confusion followed by enlightenment happened while I was whipping the heavy cream. Whip, beat, scrape the side, switch hands, whip, beat, scrape the side. Picture me with my rubber scraper in one hand and my hand held beater in the other, because I am the only sad housewife in the world without one of those $400 Kitchen-Aid stand alone mixers. It’s ok though, I’m working on that bicep definition.

It happened in an instant – 10 or 20 seconds tops. I looked at the cream and thought “that looks about right, I see some nice peaks, time to stop. Let me just switch hands real quick cause my right arm is getting really tired and I don’t want to drop the mixer as I set it d-” By then it was too late. I kept beating for a minute or so, clearly in denial and thinking I could continue to over whip the stuff back to perfection. At this point, this is what I had:

whip fail.

Like I said, I’ve made this once before, but I guess I had a ray of beginner’s luck because it turned out perfectly that first time. Anyway, thankfully I had purchased the larger carton of heavy cream. Actually before this I was frustrated, as Kroger offers a smaller carton of cream that is about a tablespoon too small for this recipe. The larger carton has twice what I need and last time the extra went to waste. Thanks to my ineptitude, none went to waste this time. I whipped another batch (whip, beat, scrape, switch) and it turned out well. Yay!

So I stuck the good whipped cream in the fridge and turned my attention to the slop pictured above. I came very close to tossing it down my sink disposal, where all kitchen abominations go whenever I’m done facing the failure. Something stopped me, though. I’m pretty sure it was when I thought about how it probably still tasted delicious, even though it looked like wallpaper paste. There must be something worthwhile I can turn this mess into. I whipped (pun) out my phone and typed “uses for over-w” and I’m telling you Google auto suggested “I’m looking for uses for that over-whipped heavy cream that I was trying to make for this strawberry shortcake recipe but I accidentally whipped it too long because I was using an old hand mixer and my hand got tired so I wasn’t concentrating” Ok, maybe not all that, but don’t you love how Google just knows what you’re looking for, and assures you that you’re not alone?  You can rest assured you’re not the first idiot who has Googled “I accidentally swallowed 9 pencils and a pack of crayons. Should I go to the doctor?” Anyway, I got a whole slew of hits about how you can correct over-whipped cream if you very carefully add a small amount of heavy cream back into the mix and continue to beat without breathing for a very small amount of time.  Not really an option for me since I used all my reserve cream to make the 2nd batch, plus whatever, I just don’t feel like messing with that.  So there’s one other option. Apparently if you just go right on ahead beating the heck out of over-whipped cream you’ll eventually get BUTTER. Who knew?! Probably most people on the planet, but I had no idea. So I did the whip/beat/scrape dance once more, drained the liquid into a bowl via a paper towel (note to self: get a cheesecloth) and soon I had this:

butter!

I was completely giddy. I ran this bowl into my husband like “Honey! Look what I made!” He was not as impressed as he should have been, just so you know.

Other plus: I saved the liquid that I drained and put it in my coffee this morning. Too dessert-y for every day, but a nice treat. And it saved me a Sweet-n-Low!

sweet liquidy goodness.

I used 2 tablespoons of the butter to make the shortcake, and then put some on my little boy’s toast this morning. He didn’t say anything about it being extra good but he did eat every bite, so there’s that.

So, what if I made tons of this butter, put it in mason jars, and gave it out for Christmas or something. Would that be crass? Can you give the gift of butter to someone without judgement? Does everyone else already know how to make their own butter and officially think I’m on the slow side for just now figuring it out?

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2 Responses to “The Many Faces of Sweet Cream”

  1. robinwilson1957 September 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    YOU MADE BUTTER you pioneer woman you!!
    Many times I have been amazed by the ability of Google to finish my sentences, no matter how bizarre they start out! – and while I’m here I’d like to put in my order for a tub of Christmas Butter

  2. Stefanie September 4, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    You got it! I’m so excited about Christmas Butter now. Expect it! :0)

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