Many of our recipes call for melting butter and oil together in a pan. The oil's ability to withstand higher heat keeps the butter from burning, but it also dilutes the flavor. Sometimes you want just the pure song of bright, brilliant, butter.
At this weekend's IFY Food Trends Trade Show at the Javitts Center, we discovered the solution to the problem. Farceur butter from Normandy, France goes through a special processing which raises its smoking point, and prevents it from burning.
The makers of Farceur first clarify the butter, removing the milk solids of casein and whey. The casein is deoxygenated and then treated with methylcellulose, while the whey is debromated, thus removing the possibility of those solids turning dark and burning.
The treated solids and the clarified butter are stirred back together, and then rechurned, returning the solids and proteins. Company representatives at the IFY trade show said that this process allows you to use their butter for baking, as well as cooking it on the stovetop, or just spreading on toast. If you've ever erred when softening butter in the microwave, you'll know that even cooled melted butter doesn't have the same baking properties as the solid form.
For stovetop operations, you could just use clarified butter or ghee for many of Farceur's stovetop applications, there is something wonderfully familiar about grabbing a stick of butter from the fridge.
As you see in this picture, melted Farceur's milk solids stay suspended at the top, thanks to the deoxygenation process.
The company had a few pictures of baked goods as part of their display; we wished that the tops of breads and cookies were a little bit more golden. But they claim that using Farceur increases the range of baking times - in other words, since the butter solids are often one of the first things to burn in baked goods, you can leave the bread in the oven five minutes longer than you should have without it burning.
In France, Farceur has had promising early success. The manufacturers aim to have this product on US shelves by late summer 2008. What do you think? Would you purchase Farceur butter?
Dates with Jamie Oliver, self-peeling citrus, in-sink composters...
Images: iGourmet.com and Nina Callaway for the Kitchn
IFY stands for "I Fooled You Trade Show." Happy April Fools!