Julia Child knew what she was talking about. However, I would argue that transforming this everyday ingredient with the addition of heat, transforms it into a complex flavor that makes anything taste amazing. Browning butter does amazing things to baked goods. Boiling the butter causes the water evaporate. Then the fun begins. Butterfat caramelizes and the Maillard reaction brings about a uniqueness to the butter: a nutty, toasty-ness.
I use brown butter in my cookies and cakes, but I was curious how it would fare in a non-baked form. And so, brown butter buttercream was born. I paired the buttercream with vanilla cupcakes. The flavors melded nicely. Humble ingredients are altered to bring about an indescribable deliciousness that anyone can enjoy.
Brown Butter Buttercream
Yield: about 1 cup
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 to 5 Tbsp milk
1. To make the brown butter, melt it in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown. Keep an eye on it because it can and will burn quickly.
2. Using a tea strainer, pour the liquid through to remove large sediments. Repeat.
3. Cool completely.
4. Once brown butter is cooled, place it in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until uniform.
5. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time. Mix until you reach a spreadable consistency. Use as desired.