I did a post a few days ago on how to make a caramel sauce the right way. Now it’s time for its lazy cousin, the butterscotch sauce. The ingredients for a butterscotch sauce are the same as that for a caramel sauce (sugar, cream, butter), but the technique and quantities differ. Instead of starting by making a caramel, as one would for a decent caramel sauce, butterscotch sauce takes the easy, lazy cook route – chuck the lot in a pot and boil it briefly.

It’s sweet and rich and especially popular with the wee ones. But because butterscotch sauce is the simpler cousin, it can be a bit one-dimensional for my liking. So I played with it a bit. Instead of white sugar, I used moist muscovado sugar, which instantly lends the sauce some caramel depth. And instead of cream, I used evaporated milk.

Now evaporated milk is one of those flavours you either love or hate. My adoration for the stuff dates back to childhood, when many a school day afternoon was spent on the farm under the watchful eye of gran, who invariably spoiled us with her Ideal milk ice cream if we behaved. And then of course there was Sunday lunch at her table, when she often rolled out an incredibly simple basic sponge pudding that we drowned in either home made custard or Ideal milk.

All you need is…

1 cup muscovado sugar (or any other dark sugar like demerara or caramel sugar)
1 cup evaporated milk
pinch of salt
drop or two of vanilla extract
¼ cup cold butter, cut into cubes

Add all the butterscotch sauce ingredients to a deep medium-sized saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil for five minutes and you’re done. Serve this butterscotch sauce over ice cream, waffles, pancakes, apple tart, banana bread, barbequed pineapple or barbequed bananas. Or be really naughty and eat it neat!

Cook’s tip: 1) If you prefer, you could make this sauce a touch more adult with a tot of rum or brandy! 2) If you want a blonder sauce, use white sugar. And if evaporated milk is not your thing, simply use the same quantity of cream instead.




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5 min


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