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20 December 2006


I am glad you sent in a letter to the magazine as there should be some sort of level of standards. More than that, the type of person who would be subscribing to the magazine does not seem to be of the "semi-homemade" variety thus such shortcuts seem almost insulting.

Even more glad I am to have another Shuna recipe. Butterscotch is not something I have had much of in my life, so I am happy to be able to make it for myself using a recipe from a trusted source.

I really love this blog, first of all. Your point in the letter about artificial flavor raises a question that occurred to me recently when I read another post of yours, which mentioned that you do not generally like white truffle oil because you do not like artificial flavors. I have to confess that I do not know enough about white truffle oil to know what this meant, even though I love white truffle oil. Can you explain?

Heading to the kitchen - at 2:00 in the morning. Butterscotch being one of my favorite things in the world, and really authentic recipes being hard to find. After spending two hours shopping today, I could really use some violent whisking. I'm thinking a tiny bit of crushed (perfect) toffee scattered across the top.

I have a really bad confession. Shock, horreur! I really adore this stuff called "Butterscotch Angel Delight". It is a British instant pudding that you make from mixing powder with milk.

As a child I couldn't get enough of this dreadful stuff and I although I rarely eat it these days, I still actually secretly love it til this day along with Fishfingers, Skips, Cheesey Wotsits, Rowntrees raspberry jello and some other dreadful childhood foods which I seldom, if ever, eat.
Of course my adult me doesnt care to admit this fact publicly and since I am the extreme kind of food snob who would prefer to make a batch of graham crackers rather than buy them, I am certainly the kind of person who would feel happier making butterscotch and I would most certainly never buy those chips you mention.

I grew up with the understanding that Butterscotch is a hard candy that originated from Scotland. I grew up with a Scottish brand of the candies called Callard & Bowser which seemd to back this up but from my internet browsing on the subject it would appear that the first mention of it was actually in Derby, England with the suggestion that the 'scotch' part of the word refers to 'scorch' rather than 'Scotch'.

I hope they print your letter. I saw that recipe and was kind of grossed out at the thought of butterscotch chips. Thanks for a better recipe!

I am sooo tempted to try this and use the pudding to fill a chocolate cupcake! Yum!

Mmmmm...butterscotch memories. I've always had a complete and utter horror of butterscotch chips, even during my childhood in the long-ago/far-away when people were only just beginning to make those distinctions between artificial and natural flavors. I had some kind of instinctive, inchoate sense that those ochre-colored chips were loathesome. So yah, thanks once again for holding true to the real -- something for which so many of us count on you.

My delicious butterscotch memories stem not only from the packets of Callard and Bowser's that my mother kept in her purse and her bedside table, but from her homemade butterscotch-rum sauce. This was a "company" dessert served over good vanilla or sometimes coffee ice-cream, with a rain of crisply toasted whole blanched almonds on top. Now you've inspired me not only to make your glorious pudding, (for which I thank you) but to resurrect this splendid ice-cream sundae of yore...

I've been waiting for this recipe ever since that first teasing post!



Thank you for your question.

White truffle Oil is a manufactured taste, a "perfume" if you will. There are no where near enough white truffles in the world to create that much oil from them, and even if there were, they'd be too expensive to do that with.

Because so few chefs know how to use this powerful flavouring with restraint, I ask that it not be there at all.

Also, white truffles were in season when I went to Marinus. I knew that the artificial oil would compete with the subtlety of the real thing. White truffles are interesting, but I actually prefer the scent and taste of the black ones...

Gotcha. That's good to know, thanks for the answer!

Thank you for this recipe. I made it this weekend for a dinner party, as one of my guests is a self proclaimed butterscotch freak. There were mmms and moans from all guests, but he proclaimed it "fabulous."
I served it with crisp gingersnaps and a dollop of whipped cream.
Thanks for the informative and very thoroughly explained technique information.

Please, please tell me you could teach me how to make organic butterscotch chips. I'd give away a thousand chocolate chip cookies for just one glorious butterscotch chip cookie. I am strictly organic, and am highly allergic to chemicals and food additives to boot, and have been living without my favorite thing, those butterscotch chips, for a quarter century, waiting and waiting for those folks that make organic chocolate chips to finally get a clue and make some butterscotch ones. Still waiting. (I gave the chips up when I wised up about artificial food.) Please - would you have a recipe for homemade butterscotch chips that just an ordinary cook could make?


well this is an interesting question. Why don't you just make some homemade butterscotch candies (most 1950's/60's cookbooks will have great candy recipes), crush them and add them to your cookies?

the actual flavor of the chips is completely artificial--- it's not the way true butterscotch tastes.

Or make this pudding and see if it satisfies your craving!

Butterscotch is timeless. Such a fantastic flavor. One of my favorites when a child growing up in the midwest. I'm tempted to give this one a try! Thanks for the memories and keep the recipes coming.

Hey Shuna, I was just wondering how you feel about whisking the cornstarch and sugar with the eggs and then straining at the end, as opposed to doing the two bowl method you're describing. One of my old chefs did it the previous way so I was just curious if your method just requires less straining :)

Oh, and if I weren't to heat the dairy, would the mixture seize up or is it more an issue of getting it back up to heat after incorporating it in? I ask because we're always short pots and bowls and that sort of thing in our kitchen.


On the first point-- yes, this seems fine. I don't usually strain my pastry cream unless I feel like something has gone amiss and I can SEE the lumps I'm trying to get rid of.

If you don't have enough pots you can heat your liquid in a microwave, but yes, you do not want to add cold dairy to hot sugar.

Hope this helps! Thanks for the questions!

Couldn't you add the cream cold? To stop the sugar...then add the milk when it's all lukewarm...heat the whole thing back up.
Is this a breaking issue we're avoiding?

If the question is theoretical-- you can do anything you want and see if it comes out. But if it's a practical answer you seek, the instructions are here for a small batch for a person who may not have the time to conduct experiments.

This pudding, this recipe, wants to break more than it wants to emulsify. It's not an easy thing to do-- add cream to a hot acidic mixture (brown sugar is high in acid b/c of the molasses) and create a tight marriage.

I know a lot of people who love this recipe and a few find it frustrating. But if what you care more about is taste in the end, this is the recipe for you.

Shuna! Help!
So I tried making this and the texture was fine when I took it off the stove... But then I put it in the fridge overnight and it got really grainy. Was it the butter?
P.S. I ended up heating it back up, which got rid of the graininess, but it was much runnier than the first time I had it on the stove. How long do you have to chill it?


My experience has not been yours but I have seen some made by friends and they did not whisk fast and furiously enough so it turned out a bit grainy, but still delicious!

As for re-heating it-- Cornstarch is a quirky thickener. Liquids thickened with it like only to come to a boil once. Re-cooking will always thin out because part of the reason for placing something in the fridge to set means that being chilled results in a further thickening.

If you have not broken a sweat when whisking you are not furious enough-- I'm serious when I say that. Your whisk should fit your pot in that it should be able to get into the "corners," and the sides of your pot should be tall enough that you can be furious in your motions.

I've made this twice in one week and LOVE it. I didn't see a yield on your recipe, though. I got five 6-oz. or so portions. We've been eating it with frozen pecans on top.

It looks like I'm reviving an old topic here--sorry about that.

Anyway...I've just made some treats for my son's school Christmas party, and one of the ingredients was butterscotch chips. Yecchhhhh! (And this recipe was from Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook, no less!).

Being a big butterscotch fan myself, I was very excited to see your recipe for it, and to try making the pudding. Problem is I have arthritis, so "furious whisking" is not possible for me. Is there anyway to use a mixer instead of whisking?

Hello Margot-- yes-- feel free to extend your mixer over to the stove and beat away. Just remember to stop here and there to see if it's boiling because cornstarch cannot boil for a long time. You'll probably get better results than most people with this method! ~ Shuna P.S. If you have time, please revisit, and tell us how it went, yeah? Thanks.

Actually what an interesting electric {balloon} whisk...just a thought...I think if I tried this recipe I would have to go to pudding rehab...but like a true addict I am trying it just Once.

I just made this pudding and found it not to complicated (easier than homemade custard-style ice cream) and more importantly DELICIOUS!

I've tried other pudding recipes in the past that did not yield such nice results. I would love a chocolate (and vanilla) pudding recipe in this style.

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