|Buttermilk rum pound cake, made with homemade butter and buttermilk|
Put some cream into a mixer and let it run for 10 minutes. Voila -- butter and buttermilk. (See? Like buttah.)
Seriously. I brought my Kindle into the kitchen because I thought I'd just dump in the cream, turn on the mixer and read some chapters, just relaxing by the fire, while the butter made itself.
It started off as expected, see?
But ... how relaxing does this look to you? (Good thing my Kindle was still relaxing in my chair, not on the counter.)
Clearly this was my fault for two reasons:
- I put two pints of cream in at one time. Clearly that was too much liquid to not expect massive splashing.
- I had no idea that my mixer freakin' goes to eleven.
A very messy risk indeed.
Anyhoo, all was not lost. I lowered the speed back to level 4 and put a dishcloth blankie over the mixer. And whaddya know?
After about six minutes, I had lovely whipped cream. And after about 14 minutes, I had butter and buttermilk. No joke!
Once you see the big blob of butter, it's done. Drain off the buttermilk into a container and stick it in the refrigerator for later use (see the cake recipe below). Then scrape out all the butter, mash it into a big ball and run it under cold water, squeezing out as much residual buttermilk as you possibly can (although it's not much).
Then you can pack it into jars or containers, either to use over the next week or so or to freeze. (It freezes well.)
I even decided to get cute and fancy and shape some of it into a stick. (Oh yeah, I just know the butter-shaper job offers are going to start pouring in now.)
Verdict? As long as you keep your batches small and your speed under control, making your own butter is easy-peasy.
Now ... how to use that lovely butter and buttermilk? How about a pound cake (which is basically an excuse to eats lots of butter without just licking the stick)? Oh yeah.
I found this recipe via Pinterest. It's funny, I don't have a lot of recipes that call for buttermilk in my repertoire because I always avoided them so I didn't have to buy buttermilk (I ended up only using a smidge and then tossing the rest when it went bad). Then I discovered the make-your-own technique of adding white vinegar to a cup of milk: genius.
But now I had some real buttermilk, made by me (well, sort of -- more like "separated by me", I guess).
Plus the perfect Bundt pan that I found ... wait for it ... AT THE DUMP.
OK, OK, before you freak out, let me explain. It's not really a dump, not the way I remember them from my youth. It's our local solid waste transfer station, where I can dispose of recyclables, composting scraps and yard waste, not just household trash. And at this station they have a little hut called the "Re-Use Center", for items that are too good to throw away (books, household items, kids stuff, furniture). I always scout it out before I leave, just in case (I've gotten some canning jars and nice books) -- because, let's face it, I think that somewhere deep inside of me lives a cheap hoarder who loves free stuff.
A few weeks ago, I did a walk-through of the Re-Use Center after dropping off my composting scraps and -- lo and behold -- a stoneware Bundt pan. It clearly had never been used -- ever. It was too pristine. So I snatched it up. Yep -- beautiful stoneware for free. Score one for The Ninj.
Then, of course, on the way home, I started thinking of it as my dump pan. There is just something so awesome about saying the words, "Look what I got AT THE DUMP!" Oh, the hilarity that ensued...
But back to the cake.
It's a lovely pound cake, rich and moist, with a not-too-rummy hint of rum. As is my wont, I left it un-iced so that we could eat it for breakfast as well as dessert. I'm sure it would be fantastic, though, with a rum sauce. I leave that up to the sweet-teeth out there.
And it tasted extra-amazing to me because it was made with homemade buttermilk and butter (Mr. Ninj's verdict on the butter? "It tastes just like butter!" Success!)
Just be happy because I was a hair's breadth away from calling this Buttermilk Dump Cake.
Buttermilk Rum Pound Cake (adapted from Food Love Grace)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup rum
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients and set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add rum and eggs and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, mixing until well combined (a few minutes).
Pour the batter into a prepared 9- or 10-inch Bundt or other tube pan (preferably found AT THE DUMP). Bake for about 1 hour or until skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake rest in the pan for about 5 minutes before trying to remove it. Invert the cake onto a plate or wire rack and cool completely.