Butter in Three Ways

Butter in Three Ways

1 liter cream
2 tablespoons sour milk
¼ teaspoon salt

Mix cream and sour milk in a tall jar with a tight lid, let it stand at room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours, and up to a week. The longer the cream gets to sour, the more distinctive the taste of the resulting butter will be.

Cool the cream down to 15°C, whip it in a food processor or with an electric mixer. At first, it turns into whipped cream, then it gets thinner and granulates, and finally the buttermilk and buttercorns separate.

Move the buttercorns into a strainer and let the buttermilk from them drip into a bowl. Pour the buttermilk into a second bowl. Then put the buttercorns into the first bowl and stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes to extract more buttermilk. The buttermilk can be used to bake cookies, bread or pancakes. Add salt to the butter and stir.

Put the butter into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. It’s also nice to have a good lump in a butter box on the kitchen table so you always have soft butter for your bread.


When butter is whipped, often with some liquid like milk or sourmilk, it expands and becomes more airy. At the Scandinavian Embassy Café in Amsterdam, we used espresso to make a delicious butter that went well with rye bread.

250 gr salted butter at
room temperature
75 ml freshly made espresso, around 4 shots or a very
strong brew

Put the butter and the espresso into a bowl. Whip the butter with a handheld mixer for about two minutes at low speed or until the coffee is mixed with the butter. Now whip air into the butter on the highest speed for about 4 minutes.

Divide the butter into two airtight containers and put them in the refrigerator. The butter crumbles somewhat when cold, so it’s best served at room temperature.

You can add all sorts of things to butter at room temperature to make a savoury spread. Try adding finely chopped herbs, garlic, caramelized onion, honey, spices, orange bark, cheeses etc. Here is a recipe for butter with seaweed, which is a red alga widely found on the Icelandic beaches. It’s great with all kinds of seafood, pasta, vegetables or whatever you like.

10 grams seaweed
250 grams unsalted butter
at room temperature

Warm a pan to a medium temperature and dry roast the seaweeds until they start giving off an aroma and have dried completely. Grind them in a mortar and stir into the soft butter.

Put the butter into an airtight container or roll it up into a cylindrical form in a plastic film and store in a refrigerator. You can also freeze the butter, as it  can be stored for months that way.