Raw milk, aka unpasteurized milk, is so freaking delicious. I first sampled it a couple of years ago when I was in Ireland. I’ve never been a huge milk drinker. As a kid I was intolerant to cows milk and since then I’ve not really been one to drink a glass of milk. But when I tasted the deliciously creamy, earthy raw milk in my cup of coffee that first day in Dublin, I realized I love milk. Not the watery crap that passes for milk you buy at the supermarket, but real milk that is straight from the cow, filtered, chilled, and has a light golden hue from the grass the cows eat. Nothing else. In the short four days I was in Ireland I ate more dairy than I had in the previous month. My favorite was the Cashel blue cheese. Mmmmmm
So over the weekend, much to my delight, I was able to procure a gallon of fresh raw milk. After drinking a few glasses of yumminess, I decided to put the remainder of raw milk to use and make butter and yogurt.
Butter is easy, especially with a stand mixer. I skimmed the separated cream off the top of the room temperature milk and poured it into my handy dandy mixer, whisk attachment in. Whisk, whisk, whisk on high speed for about 10 minutes and voilà! BUTTER!
The cream is starting to break here.
The butter separates from the whey. Pull the butter out, form it together and wash it off.
Mmmmm … fresh butter. At this point you could add salt, but I prefer not to. Now all I need is to make some fresh bread to go with this delicious butter.
Next, I made yogurt with the remaining milk. I know there are precise ways and temperature settings in making yogurt at home, as well as all sorts of fancy machines, but I make it in the simple way my mom and my grandmother taught me. Not once have we ever been sickened or has the yogurt not turned out. That being said, use this method at your own risk.
- First pour the gallon of room temperature milk into a very clean deep metal pot.
- Heat the milk on medium-high heat until it just starts to bubble up. Do not bring it to a full boil. Turn off the heat and let the milk sit to cool. If you have an electric range, pull the pot off the burner. Let the milk cool just until you can stick your finger in without it burning (yes I know, very scientific). The milk should still be warm.
- Next put a heaping spoonful (2-3 tbsp) of your previous batch of yogurt into the warm milk and mix in thoroughly. Use a very clean metal or plastic spoon. I currently have some organic yogurt left that my mom made a few weeks ago that I used. You can get a small container of your favorite yogurt at the store to get started if you don’t have any at home, or you can purchase some powdered yogurt starter at health food stores. Just follow the directions on the package.
- Pour the warm mixture into a larger container (or several small ones) that seal tight.
- Cover the container(s) with some dish towels so no light can get in and put them in a cool corner of your kitchen. Let this sit for 24 hours.
- The next day put your yogurt into the fridge to cool. Once cooled open up your containers of fully set delicious yogurt and taste. There might be some whey at the top. You can either mix this back in or pour it off, whichever you prefer. It should have a shelf life of at least 3 weeks, though mine lasts over a month.
These are the bubbles you see when it just starts to boil.
Yay, homemade yogurt! All this needs is some of the fresh strawberries and blackberries I just got at the farmer’s market. Yum.
With my next gallon of raw milk I’m making fresh mozzarella. Stay tuned …
Quote of the day.
As asked by my boss. Considering we work in HR you can only imagine the context surrounding this statement.
By request, here is the recipe for the Guinness-Gasm cupcakes I made for the Austin Bake Sale for Japan.
This recipe is my variation of one I found on SF Food Wars. While my version is not quite as ‘colorful’ of a read as the original (seriously, read the original commentary), I made some tweaks to the recipe that I believe make these babies even tastier. I liked the mustache decorations so much I kept them on mine, too. I mean, really, who doesn’t want a paper mustache with their cupcake?
For the cupcakes:
1 bottle of Guinness Stout (12 fl oz)
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
2 cups sugar (I prefer turbinado)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour cream (full fat, please)
For the filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons room-temperature, unsalted butter
For the frosting:
1/2 cup room-temperature, unsalted butter
3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
First the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the the butter and Guinness and bring them to a simmer.
3. While the butter and Guinness melts, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
4. The butter and Guinness should be simmering by now; remove them from the heat, add the cocoa and whisk together until smooth. Allow this mixture to cool for a few minutes.
5. While you wait for the butter-Guinness-chocolate mixture to cool, mix the eggs and sour cream with an electric beater until smooth. Pour in the butter-Guinness-chocolate mixture and mix until just combined.
6. Pour the thick, chocolatey awesomeness into the previously-whisked dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. (PS just b/c the butter-beer-chocolate looks and smells fantastic, don’t taste the batter until combined with everything else. Trust me on this.)
7. Put paper liners in a cupcake tray. Paper liners are a must! Fill the cups 3/4 full of batter and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan half way through for even baking. Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.
8. After the cupcakes have cooled, scoop a small hole out of the center.
Next make the filling:
1. Put the bittersweet chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl.
2. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, add the butter and stir until smooth and combined. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes, until it’s pourable but not too runny.
4. To fill the cupcakes, spoon the ganache into a pastry bag or a plastic ziplock with the one corner cut off (my preference). Gently squeeze the ganache into the holes in the cupcakes.
Finally the frosting:
1. Put the room temperature butter into a large bowl or your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
2. In your stand mixer or with an electric beater, whip the butter until it’s light and fluffy.
3. Slowly add 3 cups of the powdered sugar, a little bit at a time.
4. Add the 2-3 tablespoons of cream and then add 3-4 tablespoons of the Irish Cream, depending on the level of flavor and creaminess you want.
5. Add more powdered sugar if the cream and Irish Cream have made it too runny.
6. Frost the cupcakes. I prefer to pour the frosting into a giant ziplock bag with the corner cut off and swirl the frosting on that way, but frost in your preferred method. Add additional decoration to suit your fancy. I really like gold sprinkles and paper mustaches, but that’s just me.
7. Enjoy the Irish carbomb-esque cupcakes you just made. :o)
Yesterday’s Bake Sale for Japan was an amazing success! I am so proud to have been a part of it. The total amount raised at all 5 locations was over $11,000 benefiting AmeriCares! I worked the SoCo location and we made over $2k. It was a beautiful day and the generosity of the community was overwhelming.
First customers of the day.
Muffins (by moi), cakeballs and pies … oh my!
Thank you to everyone who participated and donated. If you would like to make an online donation you can do so through the AmeriCares website.