Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nothing Beats Butter

Today I started baking again....yooohoo! 

I've been deprived of baking for almost 4 months and I terribly miss my kitchen.... I'm just so glad that I have the luxury of time to stay in the kitchen today and bake my favorite red velvet cupcakes. 

As I glide into my journey in the kitchen, I have thought that it would be a great idea to get  pictures of some portion of my baking experiences today and share some "helpful" tips to my BID's readers/viewers and followers. 

back to the kitchen

I have to get the frozen butter out of the freezer and let it soften a bit for 30 minutes....while waiting, I decided to take a picture of it.... so, let's start with the BUTTER!

Before I begin with my butter tips, let me share my funny, if not stupid,  experience with butter. Way back 2008, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo went to visit California. It so happened that me and my husband were invited to a lunch with the "VIPs". While every Fil-American guests were so busy to get close to the President (me not really interested to have a dialogue with her), I just sat in one of the tables and saw this plate of very, very cute yellow balls. It looks so yummy and very inviting! I was so delighted!!! My head just screamed: "APPETIZER!!!" I thought that while everyone is busy taking picture of the "little" person, I have that plate of sweets by my little corner. With twinkling eyes, I abruptly grabbed one piece (size of a pingpong ball) and put it in my mouth. Boyyy, I was so hungry that day! I was expecting it was sweet and yummy.....but my disgusted, hungry mouth just discovered that it is not an is BUTTER! So that's the story why I don't really like butter. So much of that butter story.... it reminded me how stupid I was that day.

Going back to Butter, many recipes for baked good will instruct to cream the butter. So how do you cream the butter to create a buttercream? Make sense? First, we have to cream the butter in order to incorporate air into the batter mixture, giving a tender and light mixture. That was according to my Home Economics teacher!

HOW TO MEASURE THE BUTTER:  Most, if not all, butter wrap have measurement printed on the side which will show where to cut to get the indicated amount asks in a recipe. This is a very handy measuring shortcut. If there is no measurement printed on the butter wrap, NO PROBLEMO! Get a ruler and measure the length of the stick or brick butter, then divide the brick or stick according to the measurement I will provide below. As a friendly reminder, 1 lb (454 grams) brick butter is equivalent to 2 CUPS (500 ml.)

Here are some of the helpful equivalent measurements:

2 cups = 4 sticks = 1 pound = 32 tablespoons

1 cup = 2 sticks = 1/2 pound = 16 tablespoons

1/2 cup = 1 stick = 1/4 pound = 8 tablespoons

1/4 cup = 1/2 stick = 1/8 pound = 4 tablespoons

After measuring the butter you will need, cut it into cubes and set aside...soften it for 30 minutes. Just enough that your finger   (CLEAN IT FIRST PLEASE) easily leaves an impression in the butter when you press against the surface of the butter.

leave a slight's ready!

Now, the butter is ready to mingle with the sugar or dry ingredients. Cream it using a hand mixer (use the paddle attachment). Beat until smooth, creamy and uniform in texture. There should be no trace of the cubed butter before adding other ingredients.

Finally, start to beat the butter at a medium speed and when no traces of the cubed butter, put the mixer on a HIGH speed. This will make your butter creamier in texture and in taste. 

Red Velvet with creamy cheese...yum! 

Indulge and enjoy!

Have a great day everyone! 

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