Friday, January 4, 2013

Why You Brown Butter in Brown Butter Frosting

For our Christmas celebration with Rob's family, I wanted to make something I don't normally make, but that felt like Christmas. I found a recipe for spice cake from Good Housekeeping, which sounded like just the ticket. It was a little denser than the spice cakes you find in boxes at the store (okay, a LOT denser, like a pound cake almost) but the frosting--OH THE FROSTING.

It was a brown butter frosting, and while I was standing over the stove for what felt like ages, I wondered why the heck I was browning butter. I don't have lots of patience or stillness in me for standing and stirring. This is why I burn roux. I pondered: what's wrong with butter normally? Buttercream frosting is delicious. Why brown?

And then it browned. 

Before I even mixed the sugar and everything together, the smell of the butter was enough to show me why you brown butter. It created a richer, heartier, almost sultry taste. (Can I call butter sultry? Well, I just did.) It took a lot of restraint not to bury my face in the bowl of frosting. Actually, the size of the bowl itself kept me from burying my face in it. But I'm sure I would have used restraint had I been able to fit my head in there. (Maybe don't ask how I know my head didn't fit in the bowl.)

While I was a little disappointed in the denseness of the cake (I was hoping for moist and light), the combination of the frosting and cake were fabulous. I would definitely recommend this and make it again!  Sorry I didn't get better pictures. I was too busy eating.



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