Brown butter, also called beurre noisette, is butter taken up a flavour notch. It has a dark golden brown colour, a nutty flavour and an almost caramel-y aroma that is simply addicting. To make brown butter follow these steps: 1) In a small heavy bottom pan, melt butter over medium heat. 2) Swirl occasionally as the butter starts to melt. 3) Once the butter has melted, it will start to foam, keep swirling, 4) And then bubble. This is the water in the butter cooking off. 5) Once the water is cooked off, the butter will start to foam again. The milk solids are starting to cook. Keep swirling. 6) Finally, the foam starts to subside and the milk solids start to brown. Once the butter is golden brown and starting to give off a nutty aroma, remove from heat. The butter will continue to cook and get darker in colour, so pour it into a bowl to cool it slightly and slow the browning.The whole process only takes about 5 minutes. Here are a few tips for success:
- Use medium heat, any higher and the butter will not melt or brown evenly and may burn.
- Swirl occasionally at the beginning and constantly near the end. Otherwise the milk solids will fall to the bottom and burn.
- Success really depends on visual and aromatic cues. It is easy to burn the butter, so remove from heat when it is a shade lighter than you want. If not using right away, transfer to a heat-proof bowl to cool.
- If desired, skim off the foam (see above) once the brown butter has cooled, but it's not necessary.
- Burnt butter is not nice, so if it happens to you, start the process over again.