Thursday, January 18, 2007

Golden Churn, Golden Fern

Further to anonymous' comment that golden churn is the way to go, when baking, and further confirmation by others, I seeked out this giorgio armani brand of the butter world. It cost in TMC, RM8.99 per tin, and the label was in red, implying it was on offer. Gasp, how much would it cost NORMALLY then. One tin of golden churn is 340gm. I think it's unsalted. Actually, if you eat it like that, I finally understand what the chinese describe as "sou". Very strong, bovine smell, not in a bad way.

Then yesterday, I got a call from Mrs McGregor, who told me Bake With Yen was selling them at RM6.50 for 454 gms. (That's the magic figure for 1 lb, ie, 1 pound, for those of you too young to remember the imperial system of weights). I couldn't believe my ears. I called them up, and the conversation went pretty much like this:

Me: Bake with Yen?
BY: Ya
ME: Do you sell Golden Churn butter? The one in the can
BY: Hah? Golden mutt yer??
Me: Golden Churn ah, neeehhhh, korti kum seck koon. (there, those in the golden tins)
BY: [shouting to the other lady] - eh, got golden churn ah?
BY: [lady shouting back] - no lah, got golden fern
Me : No no, golden CHURNNN
BY: Mmm hai churn la, golden FERRRRNNN
Me: How much ah?
BY: Sick Pifty.
Me: Okayla
BY: Lei kor lei tai la. (come over and see la).

So I troop over to bake with yen after work, and sure enough, it's Golden Fern. Now, I suspect Golden Fern and Golden Churn are one and the same, coz it's from the same Road in New Zealand, same area, ....except GF has that HALAL logo on it. And, its in 454 gm. Anyway, both say pure creamery butter.

Now, why am I suddenly going on about golden churn?

Well, golden churn supposedly is THE golden standard for butter cakes. Singaporean friend of mine was telling me this lady in singapore sells 30 butter cakes a day, at S$35. No more, no less. You do the math. It's rather tidy pickings. I don't intend to be a lady who sells 30 butter cakes a day, but I would rather like to add to my repertoire, a reputable butter cake. I reckon it's the basic basic skill, like vocabulary, upon which your entire credibility lies. Can you imagine, someone saying, WHATTT LA YOU, BUTTER CAKE OSO DONNO HOW TO MAKE?

Truth be told, it's harder than I thought. My first few attempts were botched. The attempt using Buttercup, that butter impersonator, was a mega disaster. I didn't even bother tasting the cake, it was used for my Wilton level 1 cake deco base...gave it to the maids to dunk in their coffee. (my view, not to be snobbish, but if you have to ingest calories, it should be WORTHWHILE calories).

Godma, my baking mentor, gave me her recipe and asked me to try. When she saw the product this morning, she said, VERY NICE....only, to have my bubble deflated a few minutes later, when the verdict came, "AIYA, your texture not nice la". Okay, it could be one of a few things. I think it might be the flour. Those designer butter cakes probably use designer flour, like Pillsbury. So, that's what I'm gonna do next.

You can see my latest botched attempt above. The taste was fine, actually. The texture, a bit coarse, and those dark patches are apparently uneven sugar distribution. Useless kenwood. (a bad workman blames his tools).

Anyway, I'll keep you posted once (or if) I've achieved the desired texture. Actually, I reckon it's quite subjective. Some people like fluffy, light cakes, some like dense, millstone around the neck kinda cakes that can be used as a ship's anchor.

Meanwhile, I have to say my handwriting has improved. Can actually read legibly hor. In case you're thinking the above birthday cake looks plain, it is deliberately so, cos its meant to be a healthy cake. It's a banana walnut raisin, previously appearing as loafs. (loaves? loafs sound better)


snowie said...

good luck with the buttercake, and keep us informed! i struggle with it myself. should be so simple right, but not! best result i've gotten so far is just doubling or tripling nigella's basic cupcake recipe.

as for butter, i havent used golden churn before (though dad says that's best for fruit cakes as it's oilier - got some butters more oily than others meh?) but i really really like lurpak. also mahal gila, unfortunately.

boo_licious said...

Yeah, ever since u kept talking abt golden churn, I have been seeing it everywhere. My mother swears by SCS butter though which I use for pineapple balls. For my normal stuff, I use Lurpak.

Another thing I think those bakers use is butta vanilla. I read Malaysia Best which said it's the reason why the butter cake has aroma.

Angeleyes said...

I normally use Fern-Anchor wor and cake turn out quite ok leh... Maybe I should try this Churn brand also and see the difference..

Rasa Malaysia said...

30 x US$35 for me...hmmm, I should start baking and sell here. But I can't find Golden Churn here though. ;)

fatboybakes said...

actually, i have to reiterate that it wasn't me who is a proponent of golden churn. i was also just experimenting. but i reckon for butter cake, it's such a basic cake, that every single ingredient is so glaringly obvious, so it probably pays to use good stuff, or it'll be no diff from the pasar malam butter cake at RM5 a block.

angel, i oso use anchor-fern, in fact, i love eating it too. and actually, if not for bake with yen, the price is almost comparable to lurpak and others. the price of butter actually has risen nearly 70% since i started this hobby. I remember you could buy 3 packs of SCS in jusco for like ah, fatttt hopes.

fatboybakes said...

ter-tekan-ed the publish comment button too fast. i also meant to say for eating butter, my current favourite is country life english butter. yummily salty. for eating, i hateeeeee unsalted butter. (although for baking its wat i use).

rasa malaysia, i am sure there are many fantastic butter choices in the US of A. Just dont use things like "I can't believe its not butter". Ugh, the very thought.

Rasa Malaysia said...

FBB, LOL. You are spot on...I can't believe it's not butter is a marketing scam, and mind you, it's really NOT butter!!

Anonymous said...

hi fbb....been reading this site lately...:)actually the gc butter is also THE brand tht my late grandma swears by...i remember learning the famous grandma recipe of sandwich cake (yup, it's butter cake layered w good jam in btwn) n my aunt did warned me tht grandma always make sure 2 use gc brand...even the jam she uses is the imported ones...not some cheap strawberry jam!!

fatboybakes said...

way to go, anonymous, your grandma was ahead of her time. anyway, the misguided youth of today, eating margarine la, "i cant believe its not butter" la, if i were dead, i'd roll in my grave.

yup, jam also, no point getting fat on the cheap stuff. now, butter cake sandwiched with that sinful or what!

toniXe said...

my gawd, I din no cakes r so complicated....I better appreciate then more.

I thought they r just nice to look at and to eat(by ladies) !

That should automatically make you a hotshot in front of ladies am I right( imagine all those my) ? hahaha

lariest said...

fbb: have u tried using the golden fern tht u bought? i do substitute with it sometimes when i can't get gc...and yes it's true what u say that with butter cakes, the ingredients are so little n simple that u really have to use the best of everything...

hhmm...the cake anonymous mentions sounds like a victoria sandwich cake...nigella has a good recipe for that in the domestic goddess...

do u have the cake bible by rose levy beranbaum? it's one of my fav books...i think she has great cakes and she has quite a number of butter cake recipes...her method of making cakes is diff to the normal method which she claims is foolproof and i've had success with making her cakes so far...

Audrey Cooks said...

FBB, Strange but true, buttercakes are not easy to make but once you get it right, you've got it baby! I love those rough beady texture which I can never make. Mine is always fine. Texture! can never seem to get it right!

hainangirl63 said...

hi how come my comment abt butter stories nver come out?whats wrong?

hainangirl63 said...

maybe i write again just in case my first comment went missing. i said i couldnt help laughing when i read yr butter stories, esp the conversations with the Bake with yen funny. actually, tell u a secret. like all bakers, i wanted to master Butter Cake.tot maybe its the designer flr they used. alamak. not flr la but kampung egg! my late parents in law reared organic ayam.sometimes we got to ta pau kg eggs home. i took five and bake butter cake. Voila! best and jadi la.add extra egg because of the super mini size.give it a try and tell me. fluffy and golden!

fatboybakes said...

audrey, strange, mine was "beady", i dunno if that was the texture you desired....actually i'm finding out it's very subjective.

hainangirl, i am a hainanboy by the way. err, pray tell, short of fowlnapping a stray chicken, where does one buy kampung eggs? wet market got ah?
thanks for writing again, coz yar, your first post didnt come out. and thanks for the tip. will try with the eggs.

Raywyn M.E. "Kiwi" said...

Hi - I purchased Golden Fern Butter in the Duty Free Shop as I was leaving Auckland. We live in Vancouver, BC Canada and wonder how can we get more - we love it!
"Kiwi" in Canada

fatboybakes said...

hi kiwi in canada...sorry, cant help you there!!! if you were in Kuala Lumpur, i can tell you exactly where to buy it, and for how much. but i am sure the canadian butter would be quite good as well. you should have brought a whole box with you when you went over. afterall, its so conveniently packed in TINS.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I started baking butter cakes recently and it seems to be a hit. However, I personally find it a bit dry ( dry after taste in your throat)sometimes despite its lovely colour and fluffy texture,etc. I use SCS butter, self raising flour and yes, kampung eggs play a difference I noticed. I actually use more butter to lose the dryness but no success. Any comments? Thanks.

fatboybakes said...

hi anonymous, i find with butter cakes, they taste WONDERFUL when straight piping hot out of the oven, and then, they go downhill as they cool, THEN, you gotta leave them for a COUPLE of days in an airtight container, and THEN, it's MARRRRRRRRRRVELLLLLOUS!!!!

The Food Shop said...

A good place to buy Golden Fern New Zealand Butter is the Food Shop.

Erique Fat Owl said...

In Indonesia, home of buttery fattening MAXIMUM cholesterol cakes and kueh kerings, The Golden Churn Butter is not THE golden standard of butter. The butter to conquer all butters in Indonesia is the WIJSMAN butter (since the colonial era!), imported from The Netherlands. Golden Churn is just treated merely as a cheap(er) substitute to Wijsman butter in Indonesia. If you can get some Wijsman butter, you should definitely try it and taste the difference!

Anonymous said...

If you like GF butter and have a baby try the Golden Fern infant formula. This is also a top notch high quality product.

pasta said...

Actually, there are not good choices in the USA or Canada.
I've had Anchor butter from NZ when visiting Bermuda and it is heaven.
Unfortunately, people in UK have recently discovered that their Anchor butter is no longer made in NZ but now in UK and they will no longer buy it. Golden Churn/Fern seems to be a good alternative but has to be ordered .online. Just make sure it says NZ

Anonymous said...

Am in kuala lumpur, jln bkit bintang
Where can i buy and how much