Except for chocolate, I think browned salted butter might be the single greatest ingredient in my pantry. It smells like roasted hazelnuts and toffee and vanilla (because I chug empty vanilla beans in there for extra flavour) and tastes absolutely divine.
I use it in the French almond cakes "financiers", instead of oil in a luscious carrot cake with coffee mascarpone icing, in ice cream (YES!) and like here in a panna cotta. I like panna cotta. A lot. It is jiggly and wobbly and makes my me quite happy. I often spend a few minutes making a panna cotta twerk like it was in a club. What I love about panna cotta is that you can flavour it with pretty much anything.
So I mixed in some brown butter. Oh my. Think salted butter caramel realness without being cloyingly sweet.
I served my panna cotta with peaches, blueberries and blackberries macerated in a chamomile, bourbon and maple syrup and sprinkled a little guajillo chilli over for a little heat. Lemon balm finished off with a nice citrusy freshness.
Brown butter panna cotta with bourbon berries
Adapted from Stella Parks (Bravetart)
Makes 4-6 (depending on mould size)
40g salted butter
1 empty vanilla bean
350g heavy cream
275g whole milk
4 leaves gelatine, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
Add butter and empty vanilla bean into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until butter is browned and fragrant. Add heavy cream, milk and sugar to the pan and warm until it is steaming hot. Remove from heat, wring out excess water from the gelatine sheets and whisk into the warm milk mixture. Remove vanilla bean and pour into silicone mould. Transfer to the fridge to set for a few hours, then freeze until solid.
Unmould and turn out onto serving plates. Leave the panna cottas to thaw in the fridge for a few hours.
Chamomile + bourbon macerated fruit
60g blueberries, cut in half
60g blackberries, quartered
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. bourbon
1 tsp. chamomile
Infuse chamomile in bourbon for at least an hour. Discard the chamomile, and mix bourbon with maple syrup.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and boil the peaches for 20 seconds. Remove from heat and cool the peaches in cold water. Remove the skin and cut into 1/2cm dice. Mix with blackberries and blueberries in the bourbon syrup. Leave to macerate for about an hour.
Spoon the macerated fruit over the panna cottas, drizzle with the remaining syrup and garnish with a little crushed chili and fresh lemon balm.