HOW C. LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE BROWNED BUTTER
Sometimes, C feels a little bit pretentious. Just a bit. Just enough to make beurre noisette (please read that out-loud, with the most ridiculous accent possible.)
In normal people speak, that’s brown butter.
In even more normal people speak, that’s butter which has been melted long and slow enough for the milkfats to solidify and cook.
In stupid people speak, (aka C without any coffee in her bloodstream) it’s delicious-smelling, liquid butter.
This process was a little bit of an ordeal. It wasn’t difficult, really. It was just hard to follow internet directions, with such “helpful” bits of advice like, “if it’s too dark, its blackened butter, and you should not use it.” Or “cook until it smells wonderful.” All melting butter smells lovely. Seriously. If C could use it as perfume, she probably would. This lead to C having many mild freakouts of “OH NO! IT’S BLACK BUTTER! IT’S RUINED” (that occurred about one minute into cooking this, which ended up taking about 20 minutes.)
She also thought about giving up many times. After all, how different could browned butter be from her other buttery loves?
But, the results were worth all the stress, and C is now in an open relationship with butter, clarified butter AND brown butter. She’s never been happier.
Anyways, we hope that this step by step guide will help you to love browned butter, and lead you to many delicious enterprises. (We recommend THESE)
Melt the butter, while stirring with a whisk or fork, as you would for pouring on popcorn, or if you’re C, drinking out of a mug
The white milkfats will float to the top, but DO NOT WORRY and keep stirring.
At some point in time, the butter will turn clear. Seriously, things will be fine, even though you can’t see any hint of that yellow color. DO NOT WORRY. Keep stirring.
Now, the butter will really start smelling good. If we could bottle the scent and send it to you, trust us, we would. It does smell faintly like nuts, but it mainly just smells good.
At this point in time, those milk fats, which before had been white before, are now turning brown and falling towards the bottom. It looks very ugly. Again, DO NOT WORRY. Keep stirring. This is a sign its getting close to the end. The butter should also be shifting in color, from the clearish yellow its’ been to a darker, amber hue.
As soon as C saw her first brown speck, C actually poured the butter out of the pan. But the melted butter was much more than the recipe called for, so she realized it had to go out of the bowl, back into the frying pan. (get it? It’s like a pun on out of the frying pan, into the fire. You can laugh. It’s okay. We know we’re funny….Please. Laugh. Or C will keep making puns.)
So, back into the frying pan the butter goes, until it gets a bit darker, almost caramel colored. Its better, your first few times, to make it on the safe side of not quite brown. You’ll get more comfortable with knowing when it’s truly browned, the more you make it. And trust us. Once you’ve made it, you’ll want it again. DO NOT WORRY.
Tada. You’ve made beurre noisette. Put on a beret, and open some champagne.
As for those little brown bits, opinions are divided on if you should put them into the recipe or not. We always do, but if you want a less nutty taste, you can strain them out.