I love Bearnaise. I use a recipe that calls for clarified butter, but why just not normal melted butter?
Is it purely taste? Or is it because filtering the milk solids away changes how the bearnaise reacts to heat or something else?
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You can make make Bearnaise with normal butter. The version with clarified butter has a more subtle and, some say, refined taste. I think the missing milk solids negatively impact on taste, which is why I always use regular butter.
I used to make Bearnaise with clarified butter only until I opened my Larousse gastronomique last night and took up its advice to use normal butter (added in small increments).
My original recipe said clarified butter would impede splitting. It's true it split (for 3 yolks, 125g butter) much easier but if there's no fried egg in there adding a few drops of cold water brings it back together immediately.
And as said above, I think the flavour boost is totally worth it.