Beyond sugar, salt, bread, flour, and eggs, there's another quintessential staple kitchen ingredient that has been used for centuries -- butter. Whether you like it smothered across a crunchy piece of toast or melted atop a hearty steak, there's no wrong way to use butter. Although a simple butter recipe made from well-churned cream is delicious on its own, compound butter is an easy way to give a classic batch of butter a flavorful edge. From garlic butter to vodka butter, when it comes to compound butter, if you can dream it, you can achieve it. But compound butter isn't just limited to savory flavor profiles, and if there's one sweet-tasting butter worth trying, it's maple butter.
Made from a combination of two simple ingredients -- butter and maple syrup -- this dessert-style dairy product is as easy to make as it is to enjoy. The combination of butter's rich, creamy bravado and the warming, woodsy notes of maple syrup come together for a decadent marriage of flavors. The velvety, viscous quality of maple syrup gives the dense butter a lush, teary texture that sits between solid and liquid. This luxurious compound butter pairs surprisingly well with a wide range of recipes, both sweet and savory, ensuring that you'll never run out of ways to put it to good use. Plus, you can make it with milk or plant-based butter!
Maple Syrup Variations
Although we often think of maple syrup as a solitary ingredient, there are actually four different types you can infuse butter with -- golden, amber, dark, and very dark. Each variation has its own unique shades and properties, and there's no right or wrong answer, so consider the differences to determine which type suits your preferences and the recipe you're crafting.
Golden maple syrup is a light-colored syrup that boasts a mild intensity. When used in compound butter, golden maple syrup imparts a gentle sugary undertone with warm hues that won't overpower the hearty richness of butter, making it suitable for applications where a light maple syrup flavor is preferred. Slightly darker than its golden counterpart, amber maple syrup provides a richer, more pronounced maple flavor with a balanced sweetness. When compounded with butter, this maple syrup variety is versatile and suitable for both savory and sweet recipes.
With a deep amber to brown color, dark maple syrup has an assertive maple flavor, often featuring caramelized and molasses-like notes -- perfect for recipes that call for a buttery touch of intensity. Finally, very dark maple syrup is the deepest shade of brown and contributes to the most intense, full-bodied maple flavor marked by a complex sweetness and robust molasses undertones. Very dark maple syrup-infused butter works best in recipes that benefit from pointedly intricate flavors.
Uses For Maple Butter
Although it's easy to make, maple butter is also a relatively uncommon ingredient, which means you may not know exactly how to make the most of it. Maple butter, with its sweet and creamy consistency, acts as a luscious alternative to traditional butter or spreads. It can transform otherwise boring slices of toast or bagels into a sweet and satisfying breakfast or snack, providing a distinct maple flavor that complements the toasty notes of the bread.
Chicken and waffles anyone? Melt a generous amount of maple butter atop a heaping bounty of fried chicken and fluffy waffles for a satiating meal booming with savory, sweet, and rich flavors and interconnecting textures for an intriguing mouthfeel in each fork full.
As a glaze for grilled meats, maple butter provides a sticky coating for a caramelized exterior that contributes a rich, smoky sweetness that elevates the overall taste. Don't worry vegetarians, you can swap the meat for your favorite plant-based proteins or a classic vegetable roast.
Whichever way you choose to use it, this comforting compound butter will inspire your recipes and tastebuds in equal parts. Next time you have a little extra maple syrup and butter, mash them up and you'll never look back.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.