Top Menu

How to Brown Butter

Brown butter is also referred to as beurre noisette ('hazelnut butter') because of its dark color and nutty aroma. The rich and toasty flavor of this butter is great in a main course like scallops or white fish, but is equally fantastic in baked goods when used in place of regular butter.

Brown butter is created when the butter (80% fat, 16% water and 3% milk solids) is heated beyond its melting point, causing the water to evaporate and the milk solids to separate out and sink to the bottom of the pan, cooking to a deep golden brown.

BrownedButter1

Be sure to use a light-colored (stainless steel) pan as you need to watch the color developing - it can go for golden brown to burnt very quickly.

Over medium heat, once the butter has melted the mixture will start to bubble up and foam. This is the water evaporating.

BrownedButter2

Once the foam subsides, the butter will be bright yellow. Continue heating, swirling the pan occasionally.

BrownedButter3

The mixture will start to foam again slightly, as the milk solids begin to cook. At this point swirl the pan often to prevent the milk solid sediment from sticking to the bottom and over browning.

BrownedButter4

Once the mixture is a deep amber color, remove it from the heat and immediately pour it into a heat proof container. If left in the pan, the milk solids will continue to cook and eventually give off a burnt taste.

BrownedButter5

You can use the brown butter right away, or you can allow the milk solids to settle and just pour off the browned butter without the sediment. It all depends on the color and texture you want added to your other dishes.

To use in most baked goods recipes, let the browned butter solidify before using so you can 'cream' it as usual with the sugar.

Keep in mind that this butter has less volume now since the water has been evaporated out. When substituting for regular butter in baking recipes, reduce the amount of brown butter by about 20%, or your baked goods can turn out to be too greasy.

Stored in the fridge, it will keep for up to 2 weeks.

How to Brown Butter
Print
Author:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: ¾ cup
Be sure to use a light-colored (stainless steel) pan as you need to watch the color developing - it can go for golden brown to burnt very quickly.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, once the butter has melted the mixture will start to bubble up and foam. This is the water evaporating.
  2. Once the foam subsides, the butter will be bright yellow. Continue heating, swirling the pan occasionally.
  3. The mixture will start to foam again slightly, as the milk solids begin to cook. At this point swirl the pan often to prevent the milk solid sediments from sticking to the bottom and over browning.
  4. Once the mixture is an amber color, remove from the heat and immediately pour into a heat proof container. If left in the pan, the milk solids will continue to cook and eventually give off a burnt taste.
  5. You can use the brown butter right away, or allow the milk solids to settle and just pour off the browned butter without the sediment. It all depends on the color and texture you want added to your other dishes. To use in most baked goods recipes, let the browned butter solidify before using so you can 'cream' it as usual with the sugar.
  6. Store in the fridge, it will keep for up to 2 weeks
Notes
Keep in mind that this butter has less volume now since the water has been evaporated out. When substituting for regular butter in baking recipes, reduce the amount of brown butter by about 20%.

 

3 Responses to How to Brown Butter

  1. Marie DeHondt Dehondt November 2, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Can you use ghee?

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley November 2, 2015 at 9:15 am #

      Ghee (or clarified butter) already has all its milk solids remove. If you put ghee in a pan and hope it turns into brown butter it won't. With the milk solids removed it now has a very high smoke point, so it will not burn like butter (which is why cooks like to saute with it). You need to use regular unsalted butter to make brown butter from scratch.

  2. Sue August 8, 2017 at 8:13 am #

    For the chocolate chip cookies: )

Leave a Reply

Comments

comments