Creaming combines sugar with solid fat. The sugar's sharp particles cut into the butter, introducing air bubbles. It is the most important step for cookies and cakes because it allows them to rise.
- Fill a large bowl to half volume with hot water from the tap. Use a smaller bowl to hold butter, and sugar.
- Put the smaller bowl into the large one and let butter soften for a minute, mixing constantly with a wooden spoon. Do not allow the butter to melt. After the mixture seems easier to mix, remove the smaller bowl and empty the larger bowl.
- Fill the larger bowl with cold water until the outside of the bowl is cold.
- Put the bowls back together, and beat with the wooden spoon until the mixture has changed colour and texture.
- Tip: Wrap a wet towel around the base of the larger bowl when stirring to stop it from moving.
Use hand beaters to soften the butter first on low, then increase to medium. Add in sugar, eggs, and vanilla or cream of tartar in this order. Scrape the sides often. Beat until the mixture has changed colour and texture (don't overbeat!)