Clarified Butter vs. Ghee vs. Brown Butter Ghee

If you’ve been following our blog for a while you are familiar with the magic of ghee and its many uses. What may not be as clear, though, is how a few similar ingredients are different and how they might be used. I’m talking about clarified butter and brown butter ghee.

Ghee, clarified butter, and brown butter ghee all come from the same process of heating butter. There are small but important differences in the processes of each and in your new resulting ingredients. 

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Separating the Solids

Butter is a mixture of water, butterfat, and milk solids. Clarified butter, much like ghee, is the result of removing the milk solids from your butter through a heating process. Butter burns easily because of the milk solids being present. Once they are removed, the resulting clarified butter has a much higher smoke point making it a highly versatile ingredient.

There is a small but important difference between clarified butter and ghee. To make each, you go through the same process of heating to separate the milk solids. With clarified butter, you will be removing those milk solids before they begin to brown. With ghee, you allow the milk solids to begin browning and caramelizing. This small but significant extra amount of time is what gives ghee its darker color and characteristic nutty flavor.

Making brown butter ghee is a delicate process. It happens just before butter burns. Therefore, you need to be very careful to avoid overcooking. Brown butter will still contain milk solids, and it’s because of the presence of these milk solids that it is not as versatile as ghee. You must be more careful about what recipes you use your brown butter ghee in since it won’t have the same elevated smoke point.

Recipes for baked goods can often be an ideal opportunity to utilize brown butter ghee. Baking generally requires temperatures that it can tolerate without burning and the added sweet flavor from the extra amount of time the butter was cooked can make your baked goods stand out. Included below is a recipe from Rachel Molenda’s blog.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe With Ghee

Ingredients:

– 1/3 cup ghee or brown butter ghee, softened but not melted. (Feeling decadent? Try using our Chocolate Ghee instead of plain ghee!)

– 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

– 2 tbsp almond butter (any nut butter would work)

– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

– 1 large egg

– 1 2/3 cup almond flour

– 2 tbsp tapioca flour/starch

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 1/4 tsp sea salt

-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix together ghee, maple syrup, almond butter and vanilla extract. Once mixed, add egg.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together almond flour, tapioca flour/starch, baking soda and sea salt.

4. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until a batter forms. Fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dollop batter onto tray. It should fit around 9 (they don’t spread too much while baking either).

6. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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Sources:

Butter 101: Clarified Butter, Ghee, and Brown Butter

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

 

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