The homemade butterscotch sauce uses just 5 ingredients in less than 10 minutes. This simple and easy recipe will have you drizzling butterscotch on anything from breakfast pancakes, pound cakes to vanilla ice cream.
In a heavy-bottom deep saucepan, add the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt.Tip -a light-colored pan works better so you can see the color more clearly.
Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
Continue to cook over medium to medium-low heat for about 4 to 5 minutes. Tip - you want it to boil but not burn so adjust the heat accordingly.
When you have a light pale butterscotch color (see video) add the warm cream and combine well. Tip - The sauce will rise when you add the cream so take it off the heat as necessary.
Cook for just a minute more than remove from heat. Cool for a few minutes in the pan then pours into a mason jar or storage bowl.Tip- caramel is very hot so it's best not to pour it immediately into glass storage to prevent cracking.
The sauce will thicken as it cools.
Consistency is Key
The consistency at which you remove the butterscotch sauce from the heat depends on what you want to use it for. An important thing to remember is the sauce will thicken as it cools.
Pouring sauce - If you want to drizzle the sauce over desserts such as pies and ice creams. It's best to take it off the heat about a minute after you add the cream.
As an ingredient - If you need to use it as one of the ingredients - like buttercream or tart filling -it's best to have it a bit thicker. I cook it for about 2 to 3 minutes after adding the cream.
Toffee consistency - If you cook the sauce for a good 5 to 6 minutes after adding the cream - the sauce will be thicker and more intense - pour it in a lined and greased baking tray - when almost cool - cut into square or roll into balls.
Grainy butterscotch - If the sugar is not dissolved properly the butterscotch will be grainy. So it's best to keep the heat low and let the sugar dissolved and caramelize slowly. Alternatively, graininess can also happen when undissolved sugar falls back into the syrup while it is boiling. This recipe uses light corn syrup to prevent crystallization.
Separated butterscotch - low-fat cream or overheating can cause separation. Take it off the heat and continuously keep stirring until it becomes homogenous again. You can also place it over a bowl of cold water to cool it quickly.
Runny butterscotch - high-moisture butter, low-fat cream are usually the culprit. Place it back on the heat and let the liquid evaporate. The sauce will thicken as you heat the mixture. Take note that it will thicken considerably as it cools as well.