19 April 2010

Brown Butter

Did you know about brown butter? Did you know that if you just take a knob of butter and cook it in a small saucepan over medium heat, it will sizzle and then bubble and froth and then settle down and start to smell nutty and delicious? Did you know that if you then pour that brown butter into a bowl and let it cool for a while, it tastes like a deep, spicy caramel, and can be mixed with a bit of powdered sugar and milk to make the most delicious frosting?

And if you knew, why didn't you tell me?

Part of my Friday afternoon surfing for food porn involved browsing Martha Stewart's cupcakes. After I wiped the drool off my keyboard, made a small batch of Mrs. Kostrya's Spice Cupcakes to take to a dinner party. Then on Saturday I baked a whole batch of Strawberry Cupcakes for a baby shower.

The spice cupcakes were tasty and gingerbready, and I will make them again, maybe with even more spices. Chopped up candied ginger would also be a delicious addition. The strawberry cupcakes weren't quite as strawberryish as I'd like, and I'll wait to make them again until strawberries are in season and are bursting with strawberry flavour, and even then I'll probably add half a cup or so of strawberry purée to the batter. But I won't change a thing about either frosting, both of which were made with varying quantities of brown butter, confectioners' sugar, and milk, more or less following this recipe, just adding more confectioners' sugar and less milk to make a fluffier frosting (vs. a glaze).

Brown butter. Who knew?


  1. NO I didn't know that brown butter made a fabulous frosting. Thanks for telling me

  2. I've used it for savory things, did not know about frosting. Deborah Madison has a recipe for buckwheat pasta, brussels sprouts all torn apart, some kind of cheese, and brown butter. It doesn't sound that good but it's amazing.