From banana bread, to sourdough, and now homemade butter. People go mad for viral food trends and butter is no exception, with 92.3 million views on the hashtag #homemadebutter on TikTok, while #buttertock has 296.9 million views.
The beloved TV cook Julia Child once famously said, “With enough butter, anything is good”, and the golden ingredient has long been touted as the key component of all things good, from sweet treats, to haute cuisine.
The boredom of COVID-19 lockdowns, working from home becoming de rigueur, and the current cost of living crisis has pushed a lot of people back into the arms of Do It Yourself activities, especially when it comes to food, with the hashtag #homemadefoodtrend gaining over 960 million views on TikTok.
The price of butter and rose spreads 4.9 percent in between December 2021 and February 2022 according to consumer watchdog Which?, with the price of popular brand Lurpak soaring to nearly £5 ($6.10) in some shops in the UK.
The Viral Trend
Many users have given the butter thing a go on TikTok and one of the most viewed videos is from food blogger and cook Cherie Denham, with 27.9 million views. Speaking to Newsweek Cherie told us of her obsession with making butter.
She said: “I flipping love homemade butter, we’re currently on holiday and I even brought my churner with me! Butter is getting more and more expensive and for me there’s no alternative – it has to be butter.
“I love to spread my butter thick and then my jam has a lovely base and when I bite into my cold toast or bread I can see my teeth marks!!!”
So armed with a brief history of butter and after watching many, many videos on TikTok, I gave it a go. It was a particularly hot day when I tried making butter which added a new level of difficulty to the process! I tried two methods to make my butter, one with an electric whisk, and the more rudimentary way of shaking it by hand.
In theory, all you need is a tub of double cream, and then you just shake or whisk it until the buttermilk separates from the butter, you’ll know when this happens, it’s not subtle! The whisk method produced what I can only describe as solid whipped cream with no sign of separating buttermilk, so I abandoned that in favor of the more laborious handmade method.
I put the cream in a Tupperware box, and shook. For AGES. After about 30 minutes (and quite a lot of breaks), I suddenly heard a sloshing sound, opened the box and the buttermilk had separated from the butter, and the butter had the appearance of scrambled eggs. One tip I would pass on is check your receptacle is water tight before you put the cream in there by filling it with water first, or getting a kitchen covered in cream.
Then as per the TikTok trend, I formed the butter into a ball, and washed it repeatedly in ice water, the reason being that you need to wash off any residual buttermilk which can easily go rancid and shorten the life of your butter.
Change the water after every wash, and keep washing, mine took three goes, until the water runs clear. Then you can shape your butter into whatever shape you like, I went for the traditional brick shape and used two pallet knives to get the smooth edges.
A sprinkle of rock salt completed my creation, and I immediately spread some on a hot cross bun and enjoyed a reward for my hard work!
It looked like butter and tasted like butter, and all for less than $1. Without the slight disaster with the electric whisk, it was a bit time-consuming, but doing it all by hand in a box was pretty satisfying, and the taste was definitely superior to the shop-bought brands.
It is possible to jazz up your butter with other flavors, as Cherie explains: “I sometimes add dulse, a lovely salty seaweed from the shoreline on the North of Ireland, if I don’t have Dulse, I add sea salt flakes. I also add herbs and edible flowers. I love making my own wild garlic butter when the season comes round. These butters just look so pretty beside a loaf of homemade bread and everyone is so excited about tasting “homemade butter.
“For my sweet butters, I add maple syrup and cinnamon or honey and mixed spice. Honestly the taste delicious on pancakes, waffles and bagels.”
I can’t really see myself going back to buying butter now as it was so easy and cheap to make. I would like to experiment with using really high-quality cream which will undoubtedly make it a more expensive enterprise, but I still think the homemade aspect is enough to make it worth the price!