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Old 02-02-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
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"European" butter

Reading a recipe featured in "Off-topic Discussions". It requires "European butter"

Wassat?

In the UK we can get "sweet cream" butter and "lactic butter" (eg "Lurpak" Danish butter) and either may be salted or unsalted. The lactic butter has a very slightly sharper taste than sweet cream as it has a small amount of lactic acid added in the form of soured cream. However, unless you were tasting for it fairly assiduously I don't think you would notice it as such.

So what does this recipe mean by "European" butter and why would the recipe ask for it particularly?
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:30 AM   #2
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Pose the question to the person that posted the recipe. When I think of "European Butter", I have Irish butter in my head.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
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In the US, when we refer to European butter, we mean the cultured or lactic butter. It's richer, creamier & more flavorful than sweet cream butter.

Allowing the cream to rise naturally and giving it a day or so to 'culture' or sour slightly gives the butter more depth. It's usually churned more slowly (but longer), allowing more of the liquid to drain out and leaving a higher fat content.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Reading a recipe featured in "Off-topic Discussions". It requires "European butter"
...
So what does this recipe mean by "European" butter and why would the recipe ask for it particularly?
That is kind of odd.

The store where I shop offers both Danish butter and Irish butter at a premium price. There is also a domestic product called "Pasture Butter", which is an organic cultured butter and also expensive, but not as much as the imported stuff. That's the one I generally buy for spreading on bread or toast.

I've tried all three and don't notice a big difference. The Danish butter has maybe a little more tang, but I don't feel it's worth the additional cost.

Now if you are using butter as an ingredient in a recipe where any flavor advantage will be completely lost, then I don't see what difference it will make. In fact, I would probably just buy whatever is the least expensive.

Likewise, I wouldn't use Mouton Rothschild to make Coq au Vin - well, unless someone else were paying for it. Even then I'd probably swap it for something less expensive when they weren't looking and stash it away for myself.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:34 AM   #5
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MC - what brands would be sweet cream butter ? I am completely none the wiser , I just buy what tastes nice, but tend to favour English butter .
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:05 PM   #6
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MC - what brands would be sweet cream butter ? I am completely none the wiser , I just buy what tastes nice, but tend to favour English butter .
Some examples of sweet cream butter in the UK are Anchor, Yeo Valley, Country Life, Kerrygold. Don't know about supermarkets' own brand - you'd need to ask on their website.

Lurpak and other Danish butters are lactic.

I tend to use Country Life unsalted for baking but I like Lurpak on bread
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:15 PM   #7
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Here in Quebec, the lactic butter always says "Cultured butter". It usually costs a little bit more.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Reading a recipe featured in "Off-topic Discussions". It requires "European butter"

Wassat?

In the UK we can get "sweet cream" butter and "lactic butter" (eg "Lurpak" Danish butter) and either may be salted or unsalted. The lactic butter has a very slightly sharper taste than sweet cream as it has a small amount of lactic acid added in the form of soured cream. However, unless you were tasting for it fairly assiduously I don't think you would notice it as such.

So what does this recipe mean by "European" butter and why would the recipe ask for it particularly?
hiya mad cook, and welcome to dc! my posted recipe for a flourless chocolate cake appears to be the one you might be referencing in your question about european style butter. when european butter is specified in a recipe here in the u.s. it typically has to do with its butterfat content, which is about 5% higher than most butter sold here in the states. the few times i have seen european butter specifically listed as an ingredient, it has been in baking recipes--usually for a flakier pie crust, or a richer, more tangy flavor in cookies, cakes and breads. in the cake recipe i posted, i believe the unlisted reason for its use was to enhance the richness of the cake, and further reduce the moisture content in a cake which all but eliminated dry ingredients. it was my first time baking this particular cake. all i know is that it had the richest and purest chocolate flavor of anything i have ever baked. but while i did use a european style butter, i also subbed 1/2 of the quantity for duck fat (which is verrry rich and wonderful in baking, but also liquid in form at room temperature.) p.s. i love my euro-style butter on bread and rolls, but it is considerably more expensive than land o' lakes.
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