It has been nearly three years since I started making my Board Butter and I knew from the outset I would make my own wood conditioning products for my kitchen accessories. I also knew I'd need to make a lot of it and although I've had to modernize and ramp up my production process from those early days, everything is still hand made and I still don't make batches bigger than twenty five units.
Today's blog is a reflection back to those first few times I made butter three years ago and how that process performed.
Flaking The Beeswax
I should get one thing out of the way before I describe the process and that is to explain how I arrived at the name Board Butter. Well it really is quite simple and it is down to the consistency of the product, it's like butter, well soft butter to be precise and it easily spreads on to a wood surface just like you were spreading butter.
There's nothing complicated about my recipe and there's only three simple ingredients but the art was in the experimentation of the quantities of those three ingredients to achieve what is for me just the perfect consistency and aroma to the butter.
So let's get right to the process. I start by taking my main ingredient, local Nova Scotia beeswax and breaking it up in to flakes (see above). This simply makes it a lot easier, well quicker actually, to melt the wax in the next step of the process.
Melting The Beeswax Flakes
To melt the wax I used a standard deep saucepan that I filled with boiling water and placed on an electric grill I had in my workshop. Next I put the wax flakes in to a Pyrex jug and placed the jug in to the boiling water (see above).
Poured & Cooling Down
Once the wax is melted I stir in my oil. Now this is the bit where the experimentation starts. Too little oil and the butter is too hard. Too much oil and the butter is too soft. Hmm. Pictures of a little blonde girl and three bears popped in to my head as I typed that. Anyway, as I said earlier I did experiment with a few batches before I reached what I consider to be my perfect blend and consistency.
When you add the oil to the molten wax it is important to keep it on the heat as it immediately causes the solution to solidify. Keep the heat on and stir frequently. Eventually the solution loosens up again and returns to a nice molten liquid ready for pouring.
Now there's nothing wrong with the mix at this stage and I actually do use it in this natural state but for a really special butter I take it one step further. Before pouring I first add essential oils just to give it a fantastic aroma. Again, I've experimented here and while I may well introduce more aromas later, for now I stick to what works well and what my customers and use use either essential lemon or essential rosemary oil to give my butter a real zing.
The Finished Product - Ocean View Board Butter
After pouring the molten wax in to my containers I let it cool down and solidify before adding a lid and label. Voila. The perfect little accoutrement for my cutting boards.
If you'd like to purchase my Board Butter you can do so here.