Clarified butter, do more with less

11-04-2019 in Techniques
Clarified butter, do more with less

Use as an ingredient in an egg sauce or use for frying or confiting. Clarified butter is an extremely useful ingredient in the kitchen and you can create new ways to use it by simply extracting certain components. But what exactly can you remove from the butter, what are the advantages of doing so, and more importantly, how do you make it?

Components of butter

Butter is made from churned cream and may only be called butter when it contains at least 82% fats. Sometimes we may only need the pure butter oil in the kitchen and so we remove the other components. To understand what happens when butter is clarified, you need to understand that butter consists of more than just fats. 100 grams of butter contains:

82        grams    fats
0.6       grams    proteins
0.2       grams    carbohydrates
Vitamins A & D and B-carotene
17        grams    water 

When clarifying butter, components are separated from one another which changes the appearance, flavour, melting point, and smoking point of the butter.

Two ways to clarify butter

To clarify butter, we need to heat it until it starts to melt. The temperature of the butter does not have to be higher than its melting point (40°C). As the fats have melted, they separate from the liquid. The liquid contains the milk proteins that we want to remove. We give you two methods to do this step-by step:

Preparation method 1

Preparation method 2

Using clarified butter 

Frying: A major advantage of clarified butter is that it can withstand higher temperatures than ‘normal’ butter. In butter that has not been clarified, the proteins burn and become visible as black dots. Clarified butter has had the milk proteins removed and can be heated to 150°C. Above this temperature, the fats will burn.

Confiting: confiting products in clarified butter produces a rich flavour sensation. When you use ‘normal’ butter for confiting, you will see that the milk proteins settle on the products like flakes. The recipe for potato confit in charcoal butter uses clarified butter to prevent this from happening. 

Infusing: A useful characteristic of butter is that it readily absorbs flavours. Infuse butter with herbs or spices etc. to create a flavoursome ingredient.

Binding: One of the most important uses of clarified butter is to bind egg sauces such as hollandaise. The clarified butter is used to create an emulsion with the beaten egg yolks.

Clarified butter is the perfect example of doing more with less! Taking time to clarify butter opens up a wide range of new possibilities!

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