Butter is the simplest of ingredients yet instantly adds a decadent richness to food. Flavoured butters are one of the easiest ways to add a whole new element to your food whether it is as a delicious, melty butter pat on a fresh baked scone or as a richly indulgent finishing touch to a perfectly prepared steak. Here is a simple overview of how to prepare flavoured butters and how to use them.
In order to make flavoured butters use these five easy steps:
- Take your butter out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. You want it to be easy to work and mix.
- Cream the butter to make it lighter and fluffier using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. Although the mixer is easier, doing it by hand with a wooden spoon gets better results. Think of it as an upper arm work out.
- Prepare your flavouring such as chopping herbs, grating zest of citrus or removing the seeds from a vanilla bean.
- Add your ingredients to your butter and cream again using your wooden spoon. Make sure it is well blended with the flavourings evenly distributed throughout the butter.
- Allow the butter to sit at room temperature for at least an hour so the flavours meld.
To store take a piece of plastic wrap and place butter in the centre. Roll it up nice and tight and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. If butter has not been previously frozen, you can also freeze it for future use. Frozen butter can then be grated like cheese when you need it.
Tip: If you are serving with baked goods or on crackers, etc. serve at room temperature. If you are serving on top of veggies or grilled meats keep the wrapped butter in the fridge and then slice into pats and add it before serving.
You can get creative and use whatever ingredients you think will work. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Honey Cinnamon Butter: This is the perfect butter for fresh baked muffins, scones and even bread. You can also use it to top your pancakes, waffles and French toast. Prepare your butter as above and add honey and cinnamon. You can also add finely chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans.
Vanilla Butter: Vanilla butter is perfect for fresh baked goods, pancakes, French toast and waffles. You can add a touch of sweetness with maple syrup, honey or icing sugar and opt for fresh vanilla beans or extract.
Herbed Butter: For a lovely addition for fish combine fresh tarragon, lemon zest or juice. You can also use dill instead of tarragon or your own favourite combo of fresh herbs. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand use a smaller amount of dried herbs. Another nice flavouring for fish is a mixture of capers, garlic and parsley.
Mexican Butter: For a Mexican twist combine lime juice or zest, coriander and pepper flakes. This is perfect on corn on the cob, but can also work well on seafood or even chicken.
Herbes de Provence Butter: Lovely on potatoes, steak and other grilled meats combine traditional herbs including savory, marjoram, thyme, oregano and rosemary.
Citrus Butter: Citrus butter can be made with lemon, oranges or limes. Simply add zest and juice and smooth. For a sweeter version use marmalade instead, in the citrus of your choice.
Flavoured butter offers a deliciously simple way to bring your food to life. You can take thirty minutes out of your week and prepare a selection of flavoured butters so they are ready in the freezer whenever you need them.