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I just tried browning butter. I placed the butter in a saucepan and heated it. It melted, then started to bubble and sizzle. Once the sizzling subsided, brown particles started forming in the butter. The liquid itself didn't seem to change colour that much.

When the "particles" had a nice brown colour I tried the butter and it had that "nutty" flavour people often talk about. The colour of the liquid itself however was a very light brown at most.

Is this what people talk about when they say "browned butter", the "particles" inside the liquid being brown instead of the liquid itself? I also tried leaving it in the pan longer but the little particles turned black before the liquid became a deep brown (it still tasted ok though but not as good as the butter I took out before).


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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes, that is how browned butter or beurre de noisette (as it is called in French) is made.

Of course, normally, you would not let it scorch to black. You want a rich hazelnut color as indicated by the French term.

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I see. I was just confused because the butter itself was not that brown. The milk solids(?) were brown. – user2249626 Sep 25 '13 at 12:00
Yes, the main fat phase will look more... amberish.... – SAJ14SAJ Sep 25 '13 at 16:19
It's not just the color, but the smell. You can tell when you have brown butter when it starts to smell nutty. – GdD Sep 25 '13 at 19:42

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