February 01, 2003
Chocolate Butter
posted by Carl

When making the chocolate whipped cream for the candy bar tarts, I had a crazy idea. I knew that I could make butter by continuing to beat the cream but I didn't know what would happen with the chocolate. When you beat cream into 'whipped cream' you're creating a foam that contains air, water, and fat. The air is in the form of bubbles in the water and the fat are globules that rest on the outer surface of the bubbles and hold them together into a foam. As you continue to beat the cream, the air bubbles get smaller as they are broken apart by turbulence or cut by the blades of the whisk. When the bubbles get small enough that the fat globules on the outside start to touch, the air and water get forced out as all the fat globules grab onto each other. The foam disintegrates into its different parts and you are left with visible chunks of fat swimming in drops of watery liquid. The overly whipped cream now looks more like curdled milk.

I wasn't sure how chocolate would fit into this situation. Chocolate is a combination of cocoa butter (a fat), cocoa solids (small particles), and sugar (and sometimes milk). I was guessing that the cocoa butter would have no trouble mixing with the real butter but I was worried that the cocoa solids would get flushed out of the cream with the water. It turns out that I had nothing to worry about.

I used a combination of semi-sweet chips and a bar of delicious Galaxy milk chocolate in my butter. In addition to the chocolate, I added a pinch of salt and a bit more than a pinch of sugar. The butter is quite tasty and Nadia thinks we should start a business selling it. I remain unconvinced about the soundness of a business based on chocolate butter but it sure is tasty.