It seems fitting to write my first post on such a lovely ingredient, made simply by heating butter until it is golden brown. According to Wikipedia, the science of it is that heating the butter separates the milk solids and butterfat and then browns the milk solids – but frankly what matters to me is that brown butter adds caramel richness, nutty depth, and a little bit of smoky grit to a recipe. I highly recommend experimenting with it – especially for sweet things, which balance the brownness (for lack of a better word) very well.
Some ideas for using brown butter:
- My Brown Butter Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Brown Butter Cookies
- Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake
- Poached Halibut with Brown Butter, Shallots and Capers
- Honey and Brown Butter salad dressing
So how to make it?
Put your unsalted butter in a pan (this is one stick, or 1/2 cup) and let it melt over medium heat.
Keep stirring. It will get all bubbly and start to smell good. This is about two minutes in.
As it starts to get more brown, around the three minute mark, keep a close eye on it.
When it’s ready, a little over four minutes after putting it on the heat, it will be golden brown and little brown specks will form on the bottom of the pan. I like the brown specks – they add a little nice roughness to the flavor – but you can strain them out if you like it more smooth. Remove from the heat immediately and either immerse the bottom of this pan in cold water to stop the cooking or pour the brown butter into another container and refrigerate.