Sunday, January 3, 2010

Homemade butterscotch sauce

Sarah made us homemade butterscotch sauce for the holidays, which we served at our New Year's Eve party and which she delivered to some of our neighbors as holiday presents.  Warmed up over Lunardi's vanilla ice cream, it was to die for.

The recipe is quite simple, with only five ingredients:  brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, vanilla and salt.  (I know, how could it not be good, with those ingredients?)  I love the fact that there are only five items in teh recipe - very pure.  (Compare, for example, the Five line of ice creams from Haagen-Dazs, which also only have five ingredients each, and which are really good.)

Here is a look at me helping to stir the simmering pot:

And the recipe, courtesy of the Smitten Kitchen (an excellent food blog):

Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce
Yield: About 2/3 to 3/4 cup sauce

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 ounces or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark or light brown sugar (I used dark)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (or 1/4 teaspoon regular salt), plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, plus more to taste

Melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cream and salt and whisk until well blended. [A flat whisk works great here.] Bring to a very gentle boil and cook for about five minutes, whisking occasionally.
Remove from heat and add one teaspoon of the vanilla extract, stirring to combine and this is where, despite the simplicity of the recipe, you get to feel all “chef-y”. Dip a spoon in the sauce and carefully taste the sauce (without burning your tongue!) to see if you want to add additional pinches or salt or splashes of vanilla. Tweak it to your taste, whisking well after each addition. I ended up using a full teaspoon of flaky salt and the listed amount of vanilla to get a butterscotch sauce with a very loud, impressive butterscotch flavor but the strength of your vanilla and intensity of your salt may vary.
Serve cold or warm over vanilla ice cream, roasted pears or pound cake. The sauce will thicken as it cools. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container and reheated in a microwave or small saucepan.
To do ahead: This sauce will keep at least two weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.

Definitely worth making for your next party (or your next bowl of ice cream).

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