Sunday, February 8, 2009
Brown Sugar Pound Cake Cupcakes with a Brown Butter Glaze
I am kind a sick of all these cupcakes. That’s why I chose to make more of them. I am a girl of many contradictions. But these cupcakes are such that in my mind they don’t necessarily qualify as one, ( honestly anything in a cupcake shape is a cupcake. If it looks like a cupcake, it is.) Yet, the pound cake texture makes them less of a cupcake more of a dense brown sugary individual pound cake, glazed with a brown butter glaze. I loved the nutty roasted flavor of the brown butter; it really complemented the brown sugar pound cake, making the flavors a bit more intriguing.
You can find the recipe for these delicious cupcakes at Martha Stewart's website (the cupcake queen. She is even coming out with a cupcake book!) Click here for the recipe.
Perhaps you don’t know what it is, or perhaps you think it is simply burnt butter. It is not and learning how to make it will prove very fruitful:
1. You can make this cupcakes.
2. Brown butter or beurre noisette in French makes such a nice accompaniment to many other things: gnocchi, pasta, winter squash, sautéed sole and much more.
How to properly brown butter:
First you need to realize what your outcome should be: Burnt will taste well, burnt, acrid and highly disagreeable. Browned butter will taste highly aromatic, nutty and roasted. Browning butter is simply caramelizing the solid milk fats. Harold McGee says:” Their flavor is deepened by heating the butter to about 250F until its water boils off and the molecules in the white residue, milk sugar and protein, react with each other to form brown pigments and new aromas.” I think the best way is to slowly heat it. This way you have much more control. You can see the colors start to slowly change. I would take it off the heat right before it hits that deeper nutty color, due to carryover cooking.
For instance, in this recipe, the butter needs to cool. By cooling it you can easily pour off the brown butter and not the milk solids floating at the top.
To see pictures and a step-by-step tutorial, check out Michael Rhulman’s blog.