Beurre noisette, also known as brown butter, is what you get when you melt butter slowly over a low heat until the milk solids separate and begin to caramelise. The aroma coming off the butter as it cooks is nutty, hence the name ‘noisette’.
Use unsalted butter for beurre noisette. Salted butter has a higher water content and produces more foam. Unsalted allows the cook to control the seasoning and observe the milk solids as they caramelise in the pan.
Be sure to swirl the pan occasionally during this process to prevent the butter burning.
The butter will initially splutter before going quiet, eventually turning a deep golden brown and producing a nutty, ‘digestive biscuit’ aroma.
Work efficient to arrest the cooking of the butter once you are happy with hit. This will prevent the solids from scorching.
Be careful not to take the butter too far, as once burnt, it will taste bitter.
Serve the butter with new potatoes; with simply steamed, boiled, or roasted vegetables; over pasta, or fish. Dover sole, if you’re feeling extravagant.
Try it in a sauce, finished with lemon juice, over roasted cauliflower or with tenderstem broccoli as we teach on the Essential Course. The lemon juice adds a welcome note of acidity.
When serving with fish, you can make a sauce with the beurre noisette and a little lemon juice and such delicious additions as a spoon of chopped rinsed capers or chopped herbs.
You could incorporate its rich flavour into your baking too. It’s become increasingly common to see brown butter in cookies, pancakes, and cake mixes.
Dominika Fisakova, originally from the Czech Republic, is a chef in a small village pub. With two Leiths Online courses completed, she has big plans...