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Dec 19, 2012 07:40 AM

What is butterscotch flavor?

Hi! So I was looking for a butterscotch pudding recipe the other day and went with the easiest I could find:

I used the recipe as a guide, subbing extra corn starch for the heavy cream and browning the butter in the hope that I'd get a sharper flavor. It came out fine but it wasn't exactly butterscotch.

Anyone know how to get a strong butterscotch flavor? Should I have browned the sugar and butter together? If so, to what extent? And if that's indeed what I should have done, isn't it just caramel? Some suggest adding molasses - any thoughts on that?

Is there any hope or has the artificial flavor of butterscotch candy ruined me and set inauthentic/unreasonable expectations?

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  1. I hope this will help. It is lovely.
    From Eggbeater:

    1. Butterscotch candy and butterscotch pudding taste quite distinct to me. The first is a sweet confection made of brown sugar caramelized with butter. It is not too distinct from toffee. The pudding, however, is distinctly a custard, getting its flavor from eggs, brown sugar and butter.

      Go ahead and caramelize the brown sugar with the butter for your pudding, just don't take the heat too high, lest you burn the butter solids. Once you've added the milk to the buttered caramel, bring it up to temperature and use it to temper your egg yolks before returning all to the stove to thicken. You can add a dash of molasses for a smokey flavor, but I would rather go with a shot of whiskey.

      1. Caramel is sugar and butter. Butterscotch is brown sugar and butter.

        Brown sugar is sugar and molasses. So light or dark brown sugar is based on molasses content.

        Adding molasses would be easier. From a recipe control point I suggest using regular sugar and molasses to make a consistent brown sugar since we don't know how much molasses is in "store bought" it in the first place.

        1. That recipe just uses brown sugar for flavor.

          I've made a butterscotch pudding from Kafka's Microwave Gourmet.

          First caramelize sugar and water (microwave till 'light and gold')
          Add cream, cook some more. This produces the flavor base.

          The rest makes the pudding - a corn starch slurry, milk, butter, eggs.

          1 c sugar, 1/2 water, 1 c heavy cream

          2T corn starch, 1c milk, 6 oz butter, 2 eggs, 4 yolks, vanilla

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            Butterscotch, by definition, is composed primarily from brown sugar and butter. The brown sugar isn't "just for flavor". Your recipe, while surely very tasty, is properly a caramel pudding, not butterscotch, as it lacks the two essential components of butterscotch.

            ETA: Cross posted this with your post below.

            claims to be 'authentic butterscotch' - caramelizing butter and brown sugar, then adding cream. The resulting sauce could be used as flavoring in (plain, vanilla) pudding.