Toffee sauce is plenty sweet by design, but the beer adds a pleasing bitter edge and extra dimensions of flavor. The sauce is perfect over vanilla ice cream; it should grand with coffee, chocolate, and other ice cream flavors as well, but vanilla is always my go-to starting point for dramatic contrast and for drawing out the flavors of a sauce.
All kinds of beer will work here—even a hoppy I.P.A. that might be too bitter for some other desserts—so feel free to experiment.
Notes: You can put open bottles of leftover beer in the freezer to be used later, by the way. And, you can use flat or fizzy beer for the recipe. To measure fresh beer: Pour the beer carefully down the sides of the measuring cup to avoid raising a head (or, weigh out 8 ounces/225 grams of it, head and all). —Alice Medrich
1 1/2 cups
(300 grams) dark or light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
salt, or more to taste
In This Recipe
Combine the brown sugar, cream, and beer in a medium saucepan and heat to a simmer.
Simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce is reduced to 2 cups. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
Let cool slightly, adjust salt and use right away, or cool and store until needed. Reheat to serve.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).