OK, first things first.
I should explain why I have named a kitchen appliance. I have two reasons.
I figure that I will be talking/writing and based on last night, dreaming about it a lot, and it feels nicer to call it something more personal than The Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master. And secondly, I realised it is the most expensive thing in my kitchen bar the stove and dishwasher, so it deserves a name!
After much discussion, my son (who is seven) and I decided on Elli – Intelli shortened!
I picked Elli up yesterday afternoon. Transported her carefully home and then went for broke!
Pride of place on my kitchen bench!
With only a brief interruption for Little Athletics, Elli and I smashed out butter (Yes, I did it! Details later!), a cream cheese dip, a risotto and mayonnaise.
And today I made raspberry sorbet and a vegetable concentrate (stock).
We did go a little crazy, but boy are we a good team!
The Intelli is very easy to use. To be honest I just winged it a lot last night whipping up things without even looking at the instruction manual. The buttons are well labelled and quite self-explanatory.
I started with butter as planned.
I got lucky yesterday morning and found Devondale thickened cream marked down so grabbed that to try my first batch of butter.
I didn’t have a particular recipe I was following, but found many on-line which I tried my best to learn as much as I could. One particularly helpful clip was this one on YouTube as it gave me a good visual reference. You can find it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_51TFFNWo8
I also have researched the process a little by reading a few blogs and the Thermomix Forum site which is http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php
So I set Elli up with the butterfly (stirring) attachment installed and tipped in the 600ml of cream. I turned it up high – speed setting of between 6 and 8 depending on how it sounded. I was listening for a thumping or slapping sound to alert me that the cream was over whipped and the fat (butter) had separated from the buttermilk.
I didn’t really hear the slapping noise, but i had a busy kitchen with two kids and my mum watching my efforts, so when I checked to see how it was going for about the millionth time (through the hole in the lid, be careful, it can be messy as it sputters everywhere!) I could see that it had separated.
I followed the vague instructions that I had found and tipped what I had into the strainer attachment over a bowl to catch the buttermilk. I then squeezed out what I could of buttermilk from the butter and returned it to jug with 500ml of cold water. I took the butterfly (stirring) attachment out and blitzed it again at speed 6 for about 15 seconds.
This what the butter looked like after the first squeezing, but before the water wash
This step washes the butter and ensures that more buttermilk is removed. From what I have found online, it is the buttermilk that goes rancid so it is important to remove as much of it as you can.
The saved buttermilk
Again, I drained the butter in the strainer bowl but discarded the liquid this time.
I squeezed as much out as I could and in the process tried my hands, a chux cloth and in the end wrapped it in some good quality kitchen paper and wrapped it in that and squeezed. I found that this made me feel the most confident of getting everything out of the butter.
After that, I popped what I had in a ramekin, then into the fridge. All the while hoping for the best!
After an hour or so, it had hardened up like real butter and I felt happy that I had completed my first and certainly not last batch of homemade butter!
My Intelli butter
This recipe made about 200gr of butter and I have been able to freeze about 200ml of buttermilk to add to savory muffins next time I get the baking bug.
I do realise that I started with 600ml of cream and only really came out with 400gr of product, but as my mum kindly pointed out with a cloth in her hand, I did make a ‘bit’ of a mess, and the other 200ml/gr could probably be accounted for in that respect!
I had so much fun and I am happy with the finished product. I am waiting to see how it holds up, because if it goes off in the next couple of days I will know I didn’t get all of the buttermilk out and will have to search for a better way.
I will make butter again and experiment with the flavors. I will salt some, and make herb and garlic butter, I may even try to make spreadable butter in the future.
I can recommend giving this a try, it really isn’t hard and you get a really great product at the end! Worst case scenario, you may waste a 600ml tub of cream. Not a huge loss and you can always try again!
One tip I did read nearly everywhere was to use cream with at least 35% fat content. No such thing as low-fat butter I guess!
I know I said I made loads of things over the last 24 hours, but the butter was the only recipe I was really happy with. The rest of the products I made need some adjustments to flavors before I put then on here!
I guess I should talk about the downsides that I have found so far.
After I made my risotto last night I had two burn marks on the bottom of the jug. I was pretty upset, but got it pretty well cleaned up, and it didn’t affect the flavor of the food.
Burn marks after the first night - this is after a good clean :-(
Today when I made the vegetable concentrate I had the same two burn marks, but tonight I could not for the life of me get the blades out to give it a good scrub. The switch on the bottom of the jug to release them wouldn’t budge. Even my husband couldn’t get it to flick across, so I soaked the base of the jug with some bi-carb soda and water and did what I could, but didn’t come quite as good as last night.
I will try the blades again tomorrow and if I still have no luck I will call the manufacturer Monday or Tuesday for advice.
These two things I wouldn’t expect to find in a Thermomix.
But in the greater scheme of things Elli, so far, is shaping up as a very valuable addition to our family!
Let me know if you have one and how you are finding it. Or, do you make your own butter another way?