Q.

What is beurre noir?

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A.

“Beurre noir” means “black butter” in French.  Though the terms beurre noir and beurre noisette are sometimes used interchangably today, many chefs consider them to refer to two different stages of cooked butter. 

If you continue to cook butter after it has become beurre noisette, it will eventually become beurre noir, where the suspended milk solids have become a very dark brown (but not actually black).  Though beurre noir isn’t for anybody, there are those who consider is a guilty pleasure when used as part of a sauce (usually with an acidic element added) for seafood (particularly skate), eggs or vegetables.

Care must be taken to cool beurre noir rapidly (not until cold, just until the desired service temperature) once it reaches the desired color, as it can continue to carry over cook and become burnt if you aren’t careful.




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