Everybody and their mailman makes caramel sauce, but fewer people trouble themselves with making butterscotch sauce. I am a reformed survivor of this affliction. I suppose caramel is simply a more popular flavour, though I personally like both flavours equally. Making old-fashioned fudge this past Christmas stoked the flames of my candymaking passions; I cannot get enough of working with gently bubbling sugar.
I need to turn this into a moneymaking opportunity somehow. 😉
When setting out to make this sauce, the Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge inspired me to try substituting buttermilk for the heavy cream called for in the recipe. To offset the lack of fat in the buttermilk, I added an extra stick of butter. While the sauce had a gorgeous texture, I found the tangy buttermilk surprisingly offputting. I made it again using cream, and it was much more to my liking.
I still think a slight bit of buttermilk would not be out of place here; a faint tang would be delicious, as it is in the Buttermilk Fudge. I think the reason using that much buttermilk wasn’t successful in this recipe is because the sauce boils for only five minutes, whereas the fudge boils for close to a half hour. The longer boiling time allows for the milk solids in the buttermilk to caramelize, which does not happen with this recipe due to the shorter cooking time. Would it work if I boiled the buttermilk separately with a little sugar, and caramelized the milk solids? I wonder.
But I digress. If you’re looking for a sauce that tastes like a melted Werther’s Original candy, then this is your huckleberry. If that isn’t what you’re looking for, you’re always welcome to try subbing buttermilk for the cream. 😉
Note to self: I really must make a butterscotch ganache with this.
Yield: Just shy of 2 cups of sauce
1 TBS softened butter, for greasing sides of pan (either salted or unsalted is fine)
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, plus an additional TBS for greasing sides of pan
1 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c. heavy cream
generous tsp. Kosher salt
1 TBS vanilla extract, optional (I did not use any)
Grease sides of 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan with 1 TBS softened butter. Over medium heat, melt stick of butter. Whisk in brown sugar, cream, and salt. Bring to a boil* and then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract, if using. Cool to room temperature, stirring every so often so a skin doesn’t form. Transfer to airtight container (a Mason jar or similar is best) and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
*Optional: Attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan after you’ve greased the sides and before you’ve added the stick of butter. After the stage in which the mixture has boiled and then been reduced to a simmer, simmer until it reaches 220°F or has turned a deep golden-brown. It isn’t necessary to be quite this precise, but I find the candy thermometer helpful for getting this sauce to just the right thickness.
Source: Barely adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker