Serves a Crowd

Cardamom Butterscotch Sauce

January 29, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes approx 2 cups
Author Notes

A group of coworkers put on an "Iron Chef" competition between two teams of cooks. The rules did not allow us to bring recipes along but allowed us to bring key favorite ingredients; among other things, I brought along my maple syrup and cardamom. The secret ingredient was squash. I improvised this sauce loosely based on one my mother makes, and served it drizzled over roasted acorn squash topped with slivers of manchego and granny smith apple.

The contest was tied after the appetizer and entree courses, and this dessert won the day for my team! And has been eliciting plenty of oohs and ahhs ever since.

I should note that I have since more often served it with poundcake or fruits than acorn squash. It's particularly tasty drizzled over bananas and peaches and sprinkled with toasted nuts. Shown here with roasted apples (lemon juice and cardamom seeds, if you want to try), whipped cream, and pistachios. —chambersalyn

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 green cardamom pods, 2 crushed (save seeds and pod)
  • 1 black cardamom pod, smashed (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 pound salted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (can substitute Lyle's golden cane syrup (better) or corn syrup (if you must), but maple is much tastier)
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Bring the cream, cardamom pods, and cinnamon to a boil on medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside. Allow cream to steep with the spices while you prepare the sugar syrup, at least 15 minutes total.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan with the sugar and syrup. Choose a pan that has about twice the volume of these ingredients. Stirring, bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the mixture thickens a bit, usually 2-3 minutes.
  4. Using a strainer to catch the spices and pods, pour 1/2 cup of the steeped cream into the butter and sugar mixture. Be careful to stir quickly, as the cream will cause the mixture to bubble up quickly. Stir in and continue to heat until the sauce thickens slightly. Add more cream if you like a thinner sauce.
  5. Stir in a dash of salt to taste. Serve warm or room temperature, over fruit, cake, or even acorn squash! Sauce will thicken as it cools.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • chambersalyn

2 Reviews

Kitchen B. January 30, 2011
I love it - I think it would be great with more than a pinch of salt - a sizeable helping of fleur de sel would be great. Thanks for sharing
chambersalyn January 31, 2011
Ooh, good idea and this is an infinitely tweak-able recipe! However, if you go with fleur de sel, you may want to try either using unsalted butter or sprinkling the fleur de sel on top before serving rather than stirring in; while I'm a huge salted caramel fan, this is already noticeably salty with the butter and the dash of salt and you might want the contrast of salt just on top.