Updated: May 19
EGhee: A Canna-candy maker's best friend
Ghee, a type of clarified butter, is my favorite tool in my candy making arsenal. It's one of the essential but easy recipes for cooking with cannabis. Butter an excellent vehicle for delivering cannabis to foods and drink (cannabis LOVES fat!). Additionally, in its clarified form, butter, while not technically vegan, removes all milk solids from the butter. For folks like myself, who have allergies to milk and milk protein, clarified butter can often be tolerated without an allergic reaction.
Even when I'm making cannabutter, I always use ghee as the base. The ghee-making process removes all excess water from the butter. It sounds daunting, but the process is truly one of the quintessential easy recipes for cooking with cannabis. Each brand (and region) produces butter with differing water contents. Because of this, I find it quite challenging to produce consistent and predictable amounts of cannabutter with unclarified butter. When trying to deliver a specific dose of cannabis per candy, these variations can be quite a headache, making some batches of cannabutter stronger than intended, or worse weaker than intended. I find that when working with Ghee, having removed the excess variable water, I can deliver a much more consistent yield and feel confident in the accuracy of the dosing.
Typically, European butters, including my favorite brand, Kerrygold, have lower water content than American butters. So, while they are often more expensive to purchase, you'll need lower quantity of the European butter to make the same quantity of ghee. I also find them to be tastier, but that is of course, subjective...
I tend to make 1 lb of ghee at a time (the equivalent of 4 sticks of American butter). I work to the following metrics:
- 1 1/4 lb of European butter yields 1 lb ghee
- 1 1/2 lb of American butter yields 1 lb ghee
I use a nice, thick bottomed saucepan to do the work. It needs to be quite deep, as the butter will boil quite aggressively as the water boils off. If you can afford the splurge, the All-Clad Stainless Steel 2 Quart Covered Saucepan is a winner! It's thick bottomed, quite deep, and really nice to look at too! I got mine at Macy.com on sale- don't pay full price, just wait for one of their 1 day sales or events.
Ghee Recipe and Tips: When making ghee, always best to use an authentic recipe from an Indian cook. I am many things, but Indian is not one of them. Sharing a link to my favorite recipe.
I find that things are fairly easy and straightforward until the water boils off. You'll know your're nearing the end point when the butter will transition from furiously boiling to barely simmering (see photo below for reference). At that point, you'll need to start keeping a close eye on the pot to prevent burning. I pull mine off the heat when the milk solids at the bottom of the pan are golden brown. Then, I place the pot on a cold burner for an additional 5 minutes before straining.
Most recipes suggest using cheesecloth or a very fine sieve to remove the milk solids from the ghee. Personally, I like to use my French press. I trap the milk solids at the bottom and pour off the ghee into my Magical Butter machine to make the cannabutter. This is especially nice because of the pouring spout. Below is a line to my favorite French press. In addition to being quite functional, I love the hunter green and gold colors together (looks like our logo!).