Just recently, I have discovered the wonder of grating butter! Yep, that's right - I get out my block of butter and grate it!
Why?? I have no idea what inspired me to do this, maybe an instruction in a recipe?? I can't remember.... But it is such a wonderful trick :)
It is fabulous for baking cakes and making icing, because it ensures that the butter is quickly and easily mixed into the mixture. There is no need to wait for the butter to 'soften', as it instantly softens once is it grated. And because the butter is broken into really tiny flakes, it ensures there are no lumps and bumps.
I did a little research, and it seems this is an idea that lots of people use. It is primarily used to eliminate the wait-time for butter to soften, but also to ensure even distribution of butter in the food. Apparently, if the recipe requires the butter to be 'cut in', it dramatically reduces the time needed to accomplish this step. I even read that people freeze grated butter in specific portion sizes for their favourite recipes, and then just take it out and use it when they need it! Very tricky :)
I am going to try grating a whole block and keeping it in a container in the fridge, so that I am ready for any baking that needs butter. But, I will have to label the container, as poor Mick went in for the swoop last week, thinking it was freshly grated cheese! Luckily, I was able to stop him in time!
Another butter tip - when I make Pikelets, I brush the base of the frypan with butter, to ensure that my pikelets don't get soggy/coated in butter.
I hope you find these ideas useful way to make cooking with butter a little easier.