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Test Kitchen video tips: Brown butter for flavor

July 10, 2012 |  9:57 am

To give your dishes extra depth and richness, consider adding browned butter to the recipe.

Browned, or brown, butter (known in French as beurre noisette) works wonderfully in both sweet and savory recipes, whether you drizzle it over sauteed vegetables or fish, or fold it into cake batters or fudge. It can give a dish added complexity with its rich nuttiness when you're looking to enhance mashed potatoes, and is a perfect finishing touch for sauces, such as when you want to add some dimension to a sweet doughnut or cake glaze (as with the maple brown butter glaze recipe given below).

To brown butter, melt unsalted butter in a wide, shallow pan over medium heat, and cook until the water evaporates and the butter solids  turn a rich golden-brown (they will sink to the bottom of the pan). Whisk or stir the butter freqeuntly as it cooks so it browns evenly. Use immediately, or cool and chill until needed.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.


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Video: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times

Maple brown butter glaze

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: Makes about 2 cups glaze, enough to frost a batch of doughnuts

Note: Grade B maple syrup is less filtered than Grade A, making for a more richly flavored syrup; it is generally available at most markets.

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

1 pound powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B

1. In a small saucepan heated over medium-high heat, melt the butter and continue to cook until the butter browns, being careful not to burn . Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Place the powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Using the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat in the melted butter and browned bits along with the vanilla. Slowly beat in the maple syrup. When all of the ingredients are incorporated, briefly beat over high speed to remove any lumps. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed (bring back to room temperature and beat briefly before using).

Each tablespoon: 94 calories; 0 protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 18 grams sugar; 1 mg. sodium.