300Necessity is the mother of all invention. As can be the desire not to waste an ingredient. Whilst I didn’t come up with this recipe last week, I did make this batch because I had a small pot of double cream on its use by date and I needed to turn it into something with more staying power. Enter a batch of Homemade Butterscotch Sauce.
Caramel flavours are my most favourite in the sweet world. I suspect because there is nothing redeeming about them – in this day of clean eating and other such holier-than-thou eating plans; butter, sugar and cream are outlaws to be looked upon with disdain and contempt. But of course, I am not making a case for eating this every day nor even every week.
I make a batch far less often but I revel in the luxurious, velvety texture and rich spice of muscovado sugar AND golden syrup tempered only by a dash of vanilla extract. For readers in corners of the world who cannot source golden syrup, I wholeheartedly apologise. I have never used an alternative as quite simply, it is one ingredient which cannot be replaced, like for like. It has a very long shelf like so if you do ever see some, pick it up and tuck it away until you rediscover a recipe like this.
And do keep the tin – it is just beautiful to behold. I have several with small utensils in about my kitchen. It will be so worth your while to hunt one down – the richness and full-bodied not-quite-caramel, not-quite-honey sweetness of golden syrup is a once tasted, never forgotten experience. The crepes of my childhood on Pancake Day were drowned in this and this alone.
Butterscotch originally would have had some scotch whiskey in too – and if that tickles your pickle, then do put some in at the end, after you’ve stirred in the cream. Frangelico is magnificent in it. Whether or not you put any booze in it, a rather fabulous little quirk is that once cooked, butterscotch will keep for months and months in a nice clean jar with a tight lid, in the fridge. If it lasts that long 😉
Once you have a bottle or jar of your very own butterscotch – an act which takes a mere 10-15 minutes to complete – you need to know how it is good to eat. Besides straight from its vessel, on a spoon. Or your finger! It makes the most decadent ice cream sundae, even if you only have a less than artisan store-bought ice cream in your freezer at the time. This stuff could lift any dessert, frozen or otherwise, to another ethereal plane of existence.
Seeing as it’s Saturday night (at the time or writing) and I still have a few servings of my stem ginger ice cream in the freezer, I just fixed myself a generous scoop covered with this sauce and two speculoos biscuits to dip in. Oh, it was sinful! If I were Catholic still I would definitely be needing to repent for this one 😉
Apart from an ooey, gooey, sticky, buttery ice cream sauce, butterscotch is also wonderful rippled into buttercreams to fill or iced layer cakes and cupcakes alike. Sandwich macarons with it. Drizzle over sweet, yeasted buns like cinnamon scrolls. You could add some to a basic vanilla pannacotta to make a super naughty dessert after a suitably light main course at your next night in with your someone special. Ripple some into a cheesecake before baking.
A batch of rich chocolate brownies spiked with chilli and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream plus some warmed butterscotch is an indecent and indulgent pleasure humans are just born to experience. Make popcorn and heat up a few tablespoons of butterscotch then pour over, to be devoured whilst watching a Desperate Housewives marathon on Netflix. I *so* haven’t done that…
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to get your butterscotch on. It is as easy as melting and stirring and only requires a saucepan and spatula to make it. Also, it is handy to know that if your pot of cream is a bit smaller or a bit larger, if you have only a small nob of butter or someone has used up your golden syrup stash on some weekend brunch pancakes then worry not. It is actually a very forgiving recipe and a few mls or grams either way matters, not a jot. Go on, give it a go. You won’t believe how good something so simple to make can taste.
- 4 tbsp muscovado sugar
- 2 tbsp soft butter
- 125 ml golden syrup
- 170 ml double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Measure out the sugar, butter and syrup into a deepish saucepan to allow the sauce room to bubble up.
Melt over a medium heat, serving to encourage the sugar and butter to dissolve into the syrup.
Turn heat up to high and bring up to a rolling boil for 5 minutes – do not leave the sauce unattended, boiling sugar will seriously burn you if it boils over.
Take off the heat completely then add the double cream, keeping hands out of the way incase it spits (it will only do this for a second or two as long as the sauce is off the heat). Stir well to combine.
Return to the heat and return to the boil for a mere minute or two. It will be runny at this stage – don’t worry, it gets all thickened and oozy when it cools down to room temperature.
Once again take off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. You could add a splosh of booze at this point too – 2 tbsps is the most I would add of most liqueurs but do taste it once cooled and add more if you think you can take it.
Leave to stand for half an hour before pouring into a sterilised jar or bottle (I like to wait as it will be several hundreds of degrees when it comes off the heat as you are effectively making a caramel so I don’t like pouring directly into a glass vessel). Remember, I sterilise my glassware by putting through a very hot wash in the dishwasher.
When cold, refrigerate until needed – it will be very thick straight from the fridge so it may need to stand at room temp for a while before using, depending on how you are serving it.
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