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What are some ways to make "coffee-infused butter"?

By that I mean cow butter but injected with espresso, somehow. Essentially, produce a block of butter with strong coffee flavours in it (the color, I imagine, would be medium brown rather light yellow). Strength per block of butter is roughly equivalent to that of one cup of coffee or double shot espresso.

I've been consuming my mokapot coffee with some butter on side, and really enjoy the taste combination. It is especially good when the coffee is let to become cold a bit (the bitter notes really come through and cut through the milky goodness of butter).

Note: this is different from what is known as 'bulletproof coffee' (which can be described as butter-infused coffee).

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  • Migrated as per coffee.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1169/… and cooking.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2137/… - the problem of incorporating liquid into butter needs way more cooking expertise than coffee expertise.
    – Stephie
    May 14 at 9:31
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    Would you be open to answers using some sort of coffee extract, syrup or concentrate? Also, how are you planning on consuming it? On its own, spread on bread, in baked recipes?
    – dbmag9
    May 14 at 9:50
  • Sounds like it's no different from making garlic butter, herb and pepper butter, etc. Just gently melt the butter and let it sit with the stuff in it for a few days. Interesting idea, BTW.
    – JDługosz
    May 14 at 14:30
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A simple way to do this is to place 250 grams of whole bean coffee and 500 grams of butter in a ziploc bag. Then place that in a water bath with a sous vide device set at 90C. Cook for 3 hours. Alternately, you can do this on the stove top. Very low heat, same amount of time. The longer you cook, the stronger the coffee flavor. Strain, discard beans, use the butter. Credit to an old ChefSteps formula.

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    That sounds so cool! Will the texture be still like butter, or like butter which has melted once and then solidified again? This might turn out to be more of a recipe for coffee ghee than for coffee butter - which also sounds like an interesting product to have in the kitchen.
    – rumtscho
    May 14 at 10:44
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    You might get it done a bit quicker if you crack the beans first and sieve out any small bits (use them for drinking) . That would increase the surface area in contact with the butter. Quicker would be good on the stove top, where I'd probably use a bain marie. I've even been known to use 1-3 tealight candles under a thick-based pan when my smallest ring wouldn't go low enough.
    – Chris H
    May 14 at 11:04
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    Interesting. Heating would cause the butter to separate, though, so the milk solids and fats would come apart. I can't think of a way around this (if OP wants something that will feel like butter) other than maybe experimenting with very concentrated, cold, brewed coffee mixed with heavy cream and then churned so that the coffee is incorporated into the butter itself. Not sure how well this would work, though, to be honest.
    – J...
    May 14 at 17:19
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    To keep it emulsified and preserve the texture, you could use 0.25%-0.5% polysorbate 80, though you should lower the temperature to 75-80C. May 14 at 20:19
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It depends on what your exact requirements are.

If you can live with something which tastes like butter+espresso, but is softer, pick an emulsifier, add it to the double shot of espresso, and then knead the butter into it. Assuming that by "block of butter" you mean 250 g of butter, and by a "double shot of espresso" you mean 50 ml, the result should be still well spreadable in texture, not too liquid. You should be able to smear it on a slice of bread, or pipe it with a bag. The choice of emulsifier depends mostly on your personal preference for the final texture and added taste notes, so it makes no sense to ask "which one" - you will have to test them until you find one that's good enough for you.

If you have even more leeway in your requirements on texture and taste, you can also pick a recipe for coffee-flavored buttercream and use that. You will still have the combination of coffee taste and butter taste, but also a decent bit of sugar, and also as a foam, the taste will be different from simply "a block of butter with coffee". It is a great choice for patisserie though, and more readily available to home cooks than any of the other methods I mention.

If you absolutely need exact butter texture, the problem gets much more complicated. The easiest way would be to dissolve instant coffee in as little water as possible and knead into the butter. If that's not good enough for you, the second easiest (and this is not a joke) is to churn your own butter, adding the coffee before starting the churning (it will be worth experimenting with brewing the coffee directly in cream or milk instead of water). Anything else will require you to get well acquainted with the theory and practice of doing chemical extractions, so expect to have to read a few books and buy some exotic hardware before you can develop a process for that.

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    I appreciate you have good reasons for not proposing a specific emulsifier, but I think the answer would be (even) more helpful by at least naming a few emulsifiers that might be suitable, since that's a culinary category that I wouldn't have any idea how to approach.
    – dbmag9
    May 14 at 10:01
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    @dbmag9 I actually find it counterproductive to add such lists of emulsifiers in every post that mentions them. First, it is redundant and makes for too-long posts. Second, giving just a name is usually exactly enough information for people to shoot themselves in the foot. For somebody who has never used them before, it is much more preferable to find more extensive sources (which will also include a list) than to randomly choose a word from a list, order it, sprinkle a random amount of it over the coffee and end up with a bowl of lumps and frustration.
    – rumtscho
    May 14 at 10:06
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    The coffee buttercreams I've made/looked at (based on real coffee not instant) all achieve a good milky coffee flavour, unsurprisingly as they extract the coffee with milk. Nice, but quite different
    – Chris H
    May 14 at 11:00
  • @ChrisH good point! I think the amount of liquid is small enough to change the recipe to use espresso, but it makes the situation more complex indeed. Personally, I would also settle for instant-coffee buttercream, but I know that not everybody will like that.
    – rumtscho
    May 14 at 11:08
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    @rumtscho I must admit, last time I was aiming for latte buttercream anyway (I said pumpkin spice latte sounded disgusting as a drink but could be OK as a cupcake, which apparently meant I'd volunteered to make them)
    – Chris H
    May 14 at 11:33

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