I believe that no one is bigger than the bread, bread with butter, that is.
So, because making flavoured butter is so easy, let me share with you some tricks of mine, about making it. And since there are endless variations of infused butter, I will try to teach you the helpful basics in this article.
Wondering how much ingredients you will need? It can be very tricky and easy at the same time. Here’s a measure against kilo of butter:
- 5-10 gr Dry spices
- 20-30 gr Fresh greens
- 3-5 Citrus fruits
- 200g Reduced liquid
- 1 kg Butter = ½ kilo Noisette Butter
Butter with dry spices
You can add absolutely whatever you like – harissa, herbs provençale, smoked paprika, togarashi, dry veggies, mix of peppers, basically anything.
The procedure is very simple – leave the butter at room temperature, until it becomes soft, but not liquid, then using a kitchenaid or a mixer, beat the butter, until it doubles its size and becomes very light-coloured. Add the spices and salt to taste, then continue beating. When the mixture becomes homogeneous, pour it in small containers (like an ice cube mold) or roll it in a plastic wrapping, or just pour in a bowl, but be aware that it might become very stiff and hard to work with.
Butter with fresh greens
Absolutely the same procedure as with the dry spices, just replace your favourite spice with freshly chopped greens – parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives, wild garlic, mint, etc. The only important difference here is – put the greens at the end, to get a buttery-coloured mixture, otherwise it will be greener.
Citrus flavoured butter
Here the level of difficulty increases slightly. For 125 grams of butter, you need about two limes or half a grapefruit (you can use an orange, lemon, pomelo or tangerines, basically any citrus fruit of your choice, portion accordingly).
Grate the zest using a microplane and set aside, then squeeze the juice and then boil it to reduce acidity, when done, let sit until cooled. Beat the butter, salt to taste, slowly add the juice, and at the end add the zest. My favorite zest butter is with lemon, because it goes well with any seafood.
Butter with liquids
The highlight of the program, since making butter with red wine or other liquids is the most difficult to make, but still quite easy.
First, We choose the liquid – meat or vegetable stock, beer, wine or even hard liqueur, such as vodka, gin, bourbon, etc. What we have to do then, is to reduce the liquid (see proportion table below), to increase the flavour, and potentially evaporate part of the alcohol inside. When ready, let cool and beat the butter, salt to taste, and slowly start pouring the liquid. Beat at low speed with patience, making sure the mixture is consistent. Be careful to not make it very diluted, as it will become harder to shape and therefore spread afterwords, even though it will still tasty and delicious.
Ok, here you need to use your chef senses to do this right, but I’m sure each one of you can handle it, just don’t panic and be attentive. First, we take half of the butter and melt it over slow heat, when it liquifies, increase the temperature and whisk constantly. What we are looking for, is for the butter to become a bit burnt, so the milk would look dark-brown, with small solid cheese-grains floating in it. The aroma of the butter should be nutty and very intense, then you’ll have your Noisette butter. Take it off the fire and let cool and thicken aside. When ready, follow the same procedure as before – beat the rest of the butter, salt to taste and slowly add the Noisette butter, mix well and roll or put in a container.
Of course, you can mix spices with fresh greens, as well as liquids or vegetables. There is no problem, just follow your intuition and taste the things, until you make it to your own taste, because “A recipe has no soul, we as cooks must bring the soul to the recipe”.