Making Homemade Butter In The Mixer

Homemade butter in mixer First on my “things to try” list was making butter so I stocked up on cream and had a go.

First of all let me say the cream was expensive! I used 4 600ml pots of Tesco double cream which was £3 for  two pots – so £6 in total for my cream, this just made me glad I hardly ever buy cream!

You will also need a food mixer, a sieve, a few different bowls, a sterilised jar of some kind for the  buttermilk and  some greaseproof paper to wrap the butter in.

First of all pour your cream into the mixing bowl (I had to do this n two batches as there was too much to fit in one load. Then begin  to mix on a medium setting, the cream will stiffen

butter recipe








Then the fat globules will begin to separate and the buttermilk will start to pool in the bowl.

butter milk








Continue to mix until there is a reasonable amount of milk in the bowl then place all of the butter and milk  into the sieve and drain off the milk into a bowl.Once you have done this once put the bowl of butter back on the mixer and mis again for a minute before repeating the draining process. Next run cold water over the butter and squeeze the butter with your hands to get the remaining buttermilk out, do this twice each time draining the water and replacing it with fresh cold water.Once the water is clear (so not buttermilk is left) shape your butter into the shape and size you want and wrap for the fridge.

Ta da!


butter and buttermilk








In the end I made about 1.2kg of butter and 700ml of buttermilk from my cream. Tesco English Unsalted  butter is £1 for 250g so my butter was worth just under £5. St Ivel buttermilk is 50p for 284ml so my buttermilk was worth just under £1.50.So for my £6 of cream I got £6.50 of butter and buttercream – so pretty much broke even. It does taste really fresh and actually making it felt like watching a little bit of magic happen!


Budget cooking – Medieval pottage

medieval pottage recipe Medieval Pottage was the staple meal of medieval people. Made up of whatever they had to hand and heated  slowly before being thickened with oats. This turned out to be a really delicious and satisfying meal and probably cost less than £1.50 for a large pot full to serve 4.


3 carrots
1 swede
2 leeks
1 onion
Butter for frying
2 handfuls of oats


Chop the veg.
Fry the leek and onion in butter in a large saucepan until soft then pour the stock over. Add in the rest of the veg, season to taste and bring to the boil, reduce hear and simmer until the veg is all nicely cooked then add in 2 handfuls of oats, stir in the continue to simmer for around 10-15 minutes until the oats have cooker and the pottage is thickened. Serve with bread and cheese.


Cherry and marzipan shortbread bites

cherry-shortcake-bites These cherry shortcake bites came about in an effort to try and use up some leftover marzipan.cherry marzipan bites









140g butter

55g sugar

180g plain flour

75g Glace cherries (chopped)

55g marizpan (grated)


Rub together the butter and sugar until the are combined then add in the flour to make a shortbread dough. Add in the grated marzipan and chopped cherries and mix into the dough. Shape the dough into rectangles (or whatever shape you want) and bake in an oven at gas mark 5 (190) for 15-20 minutes.


Homemade Nutellla – Worth The Effort?

nutellaEveryone in our house loves nutella, we buy a jar pretty much every week which quickly vanishes between the seven of us (I am blushing here at our level of Nutella consumption)

At the time of writing the price of Nutella in Sainsburys is £3.55 for a large (750g jar) doesn’t seem like a huge amount until you find yourself on a really tight budget watching every penny. Put another way one jar a week is about £14.20 a month or £184.60 a year.

I decided to put to the test the idea that homemade food is cheaper and more tasty than shop bought to find out if the effort of making your own was REALLY worth it.


First off I found a fab recipe on the eccentric cook  which didn’t look to hard. I used ready chopped walnuts as I couldn’t for the life of me find whole ones so I skipped the whole first step about roasting and just poured my chopped walnuts into the blender to begin. So the verdict?


Hazelnuts 200g (two packs as shown) Packs were £1.37 each so the hazelnuts cost £2.740000000490535_FifthDimension_140x140_v1_m56577569834098246





41e3d291-2456-4952-bb9c-b3f1c646655a_Spec2_v1_m56577569834323776 Condensed Milk (one tin as shown) was 99p





Dark Chocolate (as shown) was 33p per bar and I used 2.5 bars so 83p




Also used a little milk but that would have a matter of pence plus most people have milk around anyway!

The recipe actually made pretty much the equivalent amount to the large jar so we can just compare the two directly.

So the total cost of ingredients was £4.74 So in my experiment Nutella wins on cost HOWEVER i am sure you could get walnuts cheaper than this is you looked about thus could bring the cost down a little although there is a £1.19 difference to make up which may be difficult.



I have to say eccentric cooks recipe made some fantastic Nutella – I had to hold myself back from just eating it with a spoon (there may have been some tasting required – for the purposes of testing you understand). Shop bought Nutella is sticky and can feel a little slimy sometimes but the homemade Nutella had none of that it felt fresher and much cleaner. It spread like Nutella so you would use it in the same way. Homemade wins every single time


Well theres no real competition here is there – shop bought you open jar and eat. Homemade wasn’t hard especially skipping the roasting etc. It took about 10 minutes but still longer than opening a jar.


Lets face it a jar of chocolate is never going to be healthy BUT what with the recent “horse meat scandal” its made me think twice about buying anything not because it might have horse meat in (Nutella with horse meat really WOULD be a story) but because you never know WHAT is in the food you eat unless you make it from scratch yourself – this includes chemicals preservatives etc. So at least by making your own chocolate spread you take back control of your food a little.

In conclusion Nuttela from a shop is cheaper and easier but homemade Nutella is nicer and gives you more control over ingredients. It really depends what you need. If you are on a tight budget your NOT going to save money making your own especially when you start taking into account the cheaper (but less tasty) supermarket own brands. You also need to actually make it so if you are rushed off your feet its probably not worth your time. If ,however, you are looking for a tasty treat or you are trying to  reduce your consumption of over processed food then this is certainly a wonderful tasty way to do both those things.

Now if you’ll excuse me theres chocolate to be eaten!





Slow Cooker Lamb and Leek with Mashed Cauliflower

This slow cooker meal was a lovely warming dinner. It was also really easy to make and didn’t cost a fortune! Serves 2 adults and 4 small children.


500g diced lamb
Tablespoon of flour
4 Carrots (peeled and sliced)
Small swede (diced)
1 Large leek sliced
1 pint lamb stock
Mixed herbs
Bit of butter to add to the cauliflower

Really simple  – coat the lamb in the flour and put in the slow cooker. Add in the swede, carrots, stock and herbs cook on low all day.When you are nearly ready to eat cook the cauliflower the chop up really small an mix in butter and pepper. Serve with chunky bread and butter and cheese!


Walnut Cream Cake

Well baking has never been a strong point but I was quite pleased with this cake it actually tasted pretty yummy! and it was easy and cheap to make which was a big plus.

I used the sponge recipe here and added a load of chopped walnuts. Then made up butter icing according the the instructions on the box (i doubled it) which i put between the layers and over the top. Finally adding the rest of the walnuts to the top of the cake.

I have been informed (by Jessica) thats its “ok” to make this again – high praise from a 7 year old.