what makes a good beurre blanc?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by soesje, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. soesje

    soesje

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    so what do you guys consider makes a good beurre blanc?

    there are various recipes.  what are the correct ratios?

    I am trying to get this down but today I ruined a batch and dunno why. 

    reduced too much I think.

    I personally don't add cream so just use white wine, white vinegar, shallot, butter.

    about equal amount liquids and for butter about same amount. say I have one cup liquid then use one cup butter ...

    no metrics, to keep it easy.

    other things I should consider keeping in mind?

    thanks
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Most important is to reduce the wine enough so the butter emulsifies properly and doesn't break.  Straining out the shallot is also the difference between OK and good.
     
  3. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    How did you mess it up in what way?
    The key is simplicity.
    And yes, the reduction needs to not resemble wine, just this side of au sec.
    About a tablespoon left, kinda syrupy.
    And a lil cream helps stabilize it, but its not crucial.
    Shinwa if u want, but it works for me either way.
    Off the heat but still hot, melt in pats at a time til you have it
    where you want it.
     
  4. bjazz

    bjazz

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    What do you mean? The Roux brothers -  Albert in particular - advices never to remove the shallots. Personally, I do it both ways, depending on the occasion. Sometimes it´s perfectly acceptable for a sauce to have little texture.

    Eg. Poached fish that´s delicate in texture might fully welcome the bits in your sauce, whereas asparagus wrapped in parma ham should definetely be strained as it´s got texture enough and only needs the butterniness.

    Each to his own.
     
  5. left4bread

    left4bread

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    Five minutes until service...

    Me: "Chef! Help! Why is my beurre blanc breaking!?"

    Chef: "Because we need it."

    I don't know what the "correct" ratios are, but I use 1 part wine/vinegar/whatever to 2 parts butter. I wouldn't think that it would make much of a difference though if you are reducing it au sec. The emulsifying agents are in the butter. Obviously, it would make a difference flavor wise...

    AFAIK, it breaks because it is too hot or too cold. Some people whisk in small amounts over low heat, some toss all the butter in at once and whisk like mad. I do the latter. And then after I strain it I hit it with a wand (hand held immersion mixer).
     
  6. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    If you have access to a stainless steel bowl you could heat it , and whisk the butter when warm. 

    Or whisk it over baine marie. 

    If you keep it over a baine marie ( the water hot not simmering ) , it makes it easier to

    maintain  (just like an hollandaise). 

    Never tried it this way , but it made sense in my head. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  7. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    I usually try to leave the shallots in, unless I was in a hurry and didn't mince them fine enough.

    Too big of chunks detracts IMO. MOst of em break with too much heat, or direct heat once the

    butter starts going in.

    KK point taken, Ive fiddled round too long after removal from heat and it got too cold

    for the butter phase, so Ive popped the saute pan over water real quick and finished it off--

    and BTW I add the butter in pats--but theyre pre cut and ready to go--1 or 2 pats at a time.

    Usually takes 4 to 8 oz of whole butter before its done.

    Left4bread: I never thought of finshing with the immersion blender--I'll have to try that out. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  8. soesje

    soesje

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    so, all different takes on same sauce.

    to me, beurre blanc is one of the modern emulsion sauces, I'd almost say mother sauce although that would make escoffier turn in his grave.

    or maybe not......maybe he would have approved, as this sauce only exists since beginning 20th century or so.

    as its such a basic sauce, how come there are SO many different recipes, on the basic version alone?

    are those purely personal takes? when did the cream enter the beurre blanc? why do the french not approve on this?

    as they don't approve then WHAT is the french recipe for beurre blanc?

    I am kinda fascinated by this "hollandaise sauce that went wrong" as the story goes.

    lots of variations like having a blanc canvas and make new artwork every time.

    hmm think I better stop here.

    I am feeling passionate ....something must be wrong with me ;) ;)
     
  9. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Not sure I see all different takes on it, I see 2 major points--cream or no cream, and whether

    or not to strain out the shallots.

    (Or did you mean out on the net/world in general, not necessarily in here?)

    To me, if you have a sauce with very few flavor ingredients, who's major component is

    whole butter, it qualifies as Beurre Blanc, regardless of the ratios.

    Ratios don't make the sauce what it is--butter does,. If you use more

    wine etc, your reduction will be a bit more concentrated in flavors.

    I'm not sure where and when the cream technique came from, supposedly it 

    keeps it from breaking but Ive watched it break both ways. Usually from excessive

    heat--even for only a few seconds. And cream is dairy,  so its still

    BB. But get enough cream in it and at some point it changes the taste--but still BB IMO.

    Whether or not the shallots remain in....still BB.

    Soesje, when you said your sauce was ruined, what did it actually do? Did it separate?

    Maybe together we can figger it out. :)
     
  10. soesje

    soesje

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    meezenplaz, yes I meant the WWW in general.  I was quite surprised actually.

    and I have been thinking what exactly went wrong with this particular BB yesterday.

    I have made it before no problem but yesterday hmmm different recipe to start with.

    and it's already not easy to make a one person portion (anyone tried?) as it goes sec so fast you'll miss it.

    still figuring that out. (sure this was my home situation not my work situation....)

    so what I did was use same amount white wine and white wine vinegar with shallots. 

    reduced until sec.

    maybe I should not have because it was barely a tablespoon left.

    added few tablespoons cream, reduced by half.

    then hmmm took it off the fire..... then put it back on a bit later and started whisking in the butter.

    what I saw happen is that no emulsion formed.  fire was on lowest setting so surely not too hot I thought. saw butter melt. did not fully melt the butter cubes before adding new ones. 

    tasted good though, no problem since I was on my own and experimenting but I hate it when something like this happens LOL

    so I want to know why it went wrong and will try again soon.

    maybe I am just "overthinking" it all.
     
  11. linecook854

    linecook854

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    On an off note does anyone here add peppercorns to the acid reduction? I've seen some classical texts using both shallots and peppercorns (as well a culinary school textbook that had shallots, peppercorns and a bay leaf) though usually this is the exception.

    I usually do shallots and peppercorns in the reduction, thus I need to strain not leaving much of a choice of whether to strain or not.
     
  12. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    I have used both peppercorns , and shallots , let the wine reduce in that mixture. 

    And then strained , then made the beurre blanc over baine marie ( the water hot not simmering ). 

    It works for me , and doesnt alter taste , i just personally find it easier and a bit fool proof (then again whats easy for me , can be different to others). 

    Plus the baine marie helps maintain it longer in my opinion , since you just have to whisk it every now and then to not break as fast. 

    If i dont use peppercorns and just the shallots , then there is no need to strain unless you want to. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  13. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    Soesje , i think you let the cream heat up too much. 

    The moment i see it bubble around the edges or note a few bubbles i start to add in butter , remove from heat and add the last 2-4 pats left. 

    My opinions is the cream was heated for too long , especially since you used less cream , it heated too fast and caused the sauce to break. 

    Also you took the sauce off the fire for a bit and reheated it , i would have just lowered the flame added in the butter , them removed and added in the last pats of butter. 

    But i think it was the cream , it was exposed to heat , removed while hot , and reheated while most likely warm , thus causing it to break due to excessive amounts of heat. 

    Again just my opinions , as you explained i imagined it in my head , and thats what i think went wrong. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  14. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    My basic ratio before reduction of vinegar/wine is 1 to 3 (wine/vinegar to butter). Because it can be tricky to hold, I make my reduction for an evening's service ahead of time and then finish a la minute as I get orders. I don't use any cream.
     
  15. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    Oh i also forgot to mention i reduce the shallots , wine , and vinegar to about 1/4th a little more then a tablespoon.

    All i know is if i ever get called for an interview and i have to make a BB or an Hollandaise ill be screwed , 2 sauces i havent made in months XD .
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  16. left4bread

    left4bread

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    Well, because no one came along and said, "Hey! You have to do it THIS way". And I doubt that that will happen for a long time.

    There is no modern Escoffier (open to opinion).

    I think that since it is so "basic", that is why there are so many variations.

    My favorite is 1 part lemon juice, 1 part lime juice, 1 part orange juice. No wine. Some parts shallots. 6 parts butter.

    I mean, really, it's just emulsified butter. Flavored.

    It's not magic sauce, it isn't stabilized with roux, it isn't a hollandaise gone awry (good story, though (sorry, I'm a cynic)).

    Love it, but don't over think it. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    You're going to make it fine for 10 years without issues and then you'll be teaching someone how to make it some day and it will break.

    Yeah, Meez, the wand does what you'd think it would do; adds lift and silkyness. Did it as a total noob. Waited for someone to call me on it... Still waiting for someone to call me on it. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif  

    EDIT: Yikes! left the reply window open for over an hour and missed a lot of reply posts. Sorry if my post is redundant.

    Soesje: where you say "then hmmmm took it off the fire" is where it started going wrong is my guess.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  17. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    I have done with part lime juice as well , and topped it with capers :D 

    Maybe ill make a BB or hollandaise for this months challenge , just to see if i can do it after months XD. 

    Now im getting off topic. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  18. soesje

    soesje

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    hmmm all your comments made perfect sense to me.

    sometimes you already KNOW the answers but have to hear it from collegues to be reminded, if you know what I mean.

    going to give it a different take, it needs to work perfectly within a few weeks. 

    with moving house going on and stuff not a lot of time to work on it...we'll see, I am sure I will get it right, as usual.

    its as it is with hollandaise, say, once you know what to look for and how it works, relax and it just happens...
     
  19. left4bread

    left4bread

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    Yeah, nothing wrong with sound boarding/thinking out loud.

    Totally know what you mean.

    Good luck in your endeavours!
     
  20. bjazz

    bjazz

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    If you´re going that direction, you don´t even necessarily have to dirty your whisk, as the blender works just fine. The plus and minus of it is that you´re bound to foam your emulsion. So if you want your sauce silky smooth it´s a no-go. If buttery foam is a welcome sight on top of your fish-fillet - Go for it.