Utterly Butterly Brown

Sadhu reveals another culinary secret: “Use your ears”. As moisture evaporates, the sizzling sound diminishes, indicating rapid browning. Once the desired colour is achieved, swiftly halt the cooking by adding a cool splash like lemon juice, dipping the pan’s bottom in cold water, or transferring the butter to a suitable container. With practice, improvisation becomes effortless. Even with additional ingredients, achieving this only takes minutes. Drizzle over steamed fish, coat noodles and parmesan for rapid pasta, and savour the delectable results.

“Having been a long-time enthusiast of browned butter, I truly appreciate its delicious blend of sweet and nutty aromas. In our current menu, we’re showcasing a smoked brown butter infused with jaggery, elegantly paired with caviar. This innovative concept draws inspiration from the harmonious interplay of sweet and savoury flavours seen in Punjabi cuisine, reminiscent of traditional delicacies like gur, safed makkhan, makki roti or the beloved puri-halwa-chana combo,” adds Garima Arora, chef-owner of Michelin-starred modern Indian restaurant GAA and Marigold, both in Bangkok.

In dessert-making, brown butter is a versatile ingredient. It enhances existing flavours or mimics the taste of nuts. When folded into madeleine, it adds a distinctive nutty fragrance, transforming these delicate cakes. Additionally, it excels in sautéing fruits like caramelised bananas, pineapple, pears and apples.

Combined with sugar and vanilla bean, the result is a luscious topping for ice cream or pound cake. Surprisingly, brown butter can replace regular butter in tart crusts and cookie dough, adding a depth of flavour.

“Through the art of whipping, butter undergoes a natural transformation, becoming lighter, sweeter and remarkably easy to spread. This malleability is a perfect vehicle for carrying flavours, exemplifying the secret behind our delectable besan laddoo. We discreetly incorporate whipped brown butter to enhance its irresistible nutty essence,” smiles Arora.


For brown butter

● Unsalted butter: 113 gm

● Heat skillet, melt butter while whisking. Watch for browned specks and nutty aroma. Remove from heat and keep aside.

For the caramel créme

● Sugar: 210 gm

● Brown butter: 85 gm

● Heavy cream: 120 ml

Heat sugar in saucepan, stirring vigorously as it melts. Turn off the heat; add brown butter, then cream, whisking to combine. Let cool briefly in pan, then transfer to a jar and cool at room temperature. Can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. To reheat, microwave until warm and pourable.

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