I am a woman of my word and let's just say, we've been having some ice cream 'round here. Big thanks to my babe Henry for healing his gut in time for me to partake in the seasonal dairy deliciousness.
While I've taken the easy way out and just scooped the ice cream out of store-bought containers, the other night when we had friends over for dinner, I decided to try a homemade topping to make it a little more fancy. First, I chose to make a salted butter caramel sauce which looked and smelled so amazing that we were hovering around the pot with spoons. Then we tried it and I'm just going to assume I took the caramel too far because it was incredibly bitter tasting and disgusting. We were in such denial that we thought it would get better as it cooled or better with ice cream. Nope, it didn't. Burnt sugar is burnt sugar, people. I felt defeated. Actually, I was just plain pissed at myself for wasting the cream and butter! I don't take kindly to kitchen failures.
Thankfully, friend time cures all. After a lovely afternoon noshing and chatting, I was up for another try. I changed gears though and went for a butterscotch sauce.
I have to ask you to do something first.
I want you to forget about everything you think you know about butterscotch sauce.
I want you to forget that it is usually an odd brown with a sometimes hint of nuclear yellow.
I want you to forget it usually comes out of a pump or a squeeze tube.
I want you to forget that it's usually so sweet you could go into sugar shock after a bite.
I want you to forget that you don't like butterscotch.
I want you to forget that you ever bought an ice cream topping in a store.
I want you to forget that you think you can't make ice cream sauce at home because it might be 'tricky' or take a long time.
I want you to forget all those things and remember to add dark brown sugar and heavy cream to your grocery list this week. I'm going to assume you already have the salt, butter, and vanilla, ok? If you don't have those things in stock, why are we friends? I kid!
Because here's the deal. Even though 'they' say it's cooling down this week, it's still going to be hot and it's your right to eat a whole lotta ice cream in the summer. And you need to promise me you are going to try this at least once. It's going to take you maybe 10-15 minutes total. Really. That includes fumbling around for the right pot in your 'very organized' cabinet and gathering your ingredients Rachel Ray style.
Seriously. You are going to want to top it on everything, but I highly recommend at least starting with vanilla bean ice cream and topping it when the sauce is still a touch warm. You will thank me and remember how right I was about that whole butterscotch thing.
You're welcome in advance. Now go win friends and influence people with an ice cream topping.
As usual, this is from Smitten Kitchen. You can go there for prettier pictures for sure.
Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce
I usually hate when recipes are titled with 'ridiculously easy', but this time, it's really, really true.
Smitten Kitchen (She writes that it was adapted from The Washington Post who adapted it from The Perfect Cake)
1/4 cup (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 tsp flaky sea salt or 1/4 tsp regular table salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cream, and salt and whisk until well blended. Bring to a very gentle boil and cook for about five minutes, whisking occasionally.
Remove from heat and add the vanilla and stir to combine. You can add more vanilla and salt at this point, but I really liked the flavor of the above proportions. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Make it right after dinner and it will be perfect consistency by the time you've digested enough to have room for dessert.
This can be served cold or warm (please, go for warm) and easily stores in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Can be reheated in the microwave or small saucepan.