Beurre Noisette and Ghee
Or in Italian, burro nocciola
Or in English, hazelnut butter or brown butter
In any language, intensely rich and decadent toasted nutty butter that is divine in sauces, and a vital component – along with crushed almonds, egg whites, flour and powdered sugar – of that delightful cake known as financier.
I am not making anything quite so luxurious today. I just have a freezer full of frozen bananas and was wondering what I could do with them…
Hmm … bananas + beurre noisette + date caramel + citrus = flavor synergy! I am going to have to make banana sorbet with a beurre noisette sauce… post to follow.
First I need to brown my butter in order to intensify flavor, then I can add layers. Mmm
In a previous post, the clarified butter method is detailed. This is just the process of heating unsalted butter and removing its milk solids. You can see this simple process here.
In this post, we are simply taking clarified butter one step further. When clarified butter is browned, it becomes something more like ghee, used in Indian cuisine.
Beurre Noisette is made from browned unsalted butter. It does not need to be clarified first. Milk solids brown and are strained out through cheesecloth.
I generally prefer to clarify butter first. It does not take long to do it and it withstands heat much better. You can get it really dark without much fear of burning it.
Also, there are healing properties, so for some people it is a healthful ingredient to include in the diet, in moderation.
Gotta say… pretty sure my body likes clarified butter, beurre noisette, ghee, all of it!
Healing Properties of Clarified Butter
Clarified butter contains butyric acid, which is believed to have anti-cancer and anti-viral properties. It is also considered helpful in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), it is used to promote healing of injuries, to improve immunity, to improve nutritive value of foods, to improve digestion, and to reduce gastro-intestinal inflammation, making it potentially beneficial to individuals suffering from Ulcerative Colitis.
Simple Method for Making Ghee
Heat butter to boiling, reduce heat, allow water to evaporate, cook for a few minutes until solids collect at the bottom of the pan. Strain through cheesecloth. Discard any brown bits (these are the milk solids). Ghee is often infused with spices.
Browning Butter Method
I just need about 2 oz of browned butter for my sauce, so I am staring with 1/2 stick of unsalted butter. It goes in the pan. It is not pictured, but I cut it into chunks in the pan to help it melt faster. Use medium heat. Adjust as needed.
Once butter is melted you can use a spoon to remove the milk solids that float to the top, as pictured above and in my clarified butter post – here. You can use the milk solids in another recipe, pretty much anywhere you would use whole butter.
Then let the butter brown.
This really is not a difficult process at all. It just requires a bit of patience. Just think about how delicious it will be!
Stir often to prevent milk solids burning on the bottom of the pan or sauce pot.
A nutty aroma should be wafting up to your olfactory organs right about now… rewarding your patience. Don’t stop now!
You can strain out any little bits of milk solids. And pour your ghee into a heat-safe bowl to set aside and stop the cooking process.
Now, this is what you get for sticking with it. I wish you could smell and taste this!
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