My friends and I were talking one day at an article that recently appeared on The Smoking Gun about singer Katy Perry's rider. A rider for those that don't know, is a list that someone puts together of a celebrity's must haves. In Katy Perry's rider she had: Finncrisp, fresh cut crudites, organic fruit, pinot grigio, pretzels and a list of other items. She also specified the type of furniture that she wanted - two French ornate floor lamps, a refrigerator with a glass door if you're curious. Apart from this she also needed the Presidential suite at a 5 star hotel, 5 junior suites and 45 rooms for her people. And absolutely NO CARNATIONS.
We giggled, after all a part of us thinks if you get called a diva are you expected to come up with a huge list of things?. Do you sit down with your friends and debate about whether to add "neutered Zebra" or "cross eyed unicorn" to the list? Or do you already have your list of wants and desires and a tantrum worthy of a 2 year old ready to explode if you don't get the right things or the right brand? We asked each other what our riders would be and it turns out we were of much simpler tastes. One friend asked me what I would have and I answered "A super fast wireless connection, sparkling mineral water with fresh lime, something to crunch on and REAL butter. Oh and I will take the Presidential suite too if you're asking."
Whenever I am asked what my favourite ingredient is, it's always butter. I used to have a supplier of New Zealand butter in gold bar form that I would call up and ask to reserve 10 bars of. Alas they no longer stock it and I'm left adrift counting down my precious butter blocks. I decided that day to make my own butter. I had watched them make it only a couple of weeks earlier and I knew how easy it was. Years ago I had inadvertently almost made it myself one day when I left cream beating for too long.
I used a double cream which is the best cream to use for butter making due to its higher fat content. I got the Over The Moon cream from the Pyrmont grower's market where they showed us how to churn butter. The cream is from Jersey cow milk which is said to have 15% more calcium and 17% more protein than other cow milks. It's just a matter of beating the cream beyond what you would normally take it for whipped cream. The butter tells you when it is ready when it releases the buttermilk and you soon get a gorgeously golden block of butter. It takes only a few minutes and the result is the freshest butter you could dream of. It's almost a shame that Katy P. didn't specify butter on her rider because I think she might have approved. And there was no need to track down a neutered zebra or a cross eyed unicorn with roses instead of carnations in its mane.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your creature comfort list if you could ask for anything in the world for your rider? Go on, give me your diva-ish best! ;)
- 400ml double or thickened cream
- 1-2 pinches of salt to taste
- Extras: you can also add chopped herbs to this if you want to make a herbed butter
From this thick double cream
Don't forget the tea towel or you may get milk splashing everywhere
_To this (not quite ready)
To this when the buttermilk separates from the butter
Step 1 - In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place all of the double cream and a couple of pinches of salt and herbs if you are using them. Cover with a tea towel and whip on low initially and then increase the speed to beating or creaming. Double cream seems to whip and thicken faster because it has more fat in it (50% minimum). Mine took less than 2 minutes to separate. Drain off the buttermilk which is the liquid left behind and keep it for baking or drinking. I got slightly less than 1/2 cup from the 400mls of double cream.
Draining off the buttermilk in a strainer
Place the butter on a piece of baking parchment
And then roll back and forth!
Step 2 - When the butter comes together place it in a sieve to drain off the excess buttermilk. Roll up into a sheet of greaseproof paper and shape into a sausage by rolling it back and forth. I also used a paper towel to pat off any excess buttermilk.