Butterscotch spell

By Jessica Heath

I love a rich dessert with an obvious confection story- even better when easily prepped ahead and served with a flourish of whipped pudding. Who doesn’t love butterscotch? It’s such a malleable taste we can layer on, especially when we add liqueurs like Amaretto,  Cointreau, and Tia Maria. It just takes that old childhood favourite into adult territory – it’s that touch of sophistication you want during the holiday season. Fun. Nostalgic. Festive.  A perfectly fond dinner party treat.  

Garnish with chocolate-covered cashew, walnuts, or macadamia nuts. A sprinkle of grated chocolate, with a piquant surprise of freeze-dried cherries. If time is not on your side, there’s always whipped cream. Oooh-la-la. 


  • 350 ml whole milk  
  • 35g corn flour  
  • 4 eggs, separated  
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes  
  • 45g unsalted butter  
  • Pinch of nutmeg powder  
  • Pinch of cardamom powder  
  • 1 tbsp Amaretto (optional)  
  • 450 ml double cream  
  • 150 ml to serve (optional)  
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste  
  • 25g dark chocolate to serve (optional)  

  1. In a large bowl, gradually stir the milk into the cornflour. Once incorporated, mix in the egg yolks and salt.  
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, once melted, turn the heat to medium high and beat in the sugar. Beat until the sugar has melted and you have a dark smooth liquid. Take the pan off the heat and slowly stir in the 200ml of double cream. Return the pan to the heat to melt any clumps of sugar.  
  3. Gradually stir the cream mixture into the egg mixture. Return to the pan and place over a medium heat for a few minutes constantly stirring, until you have a thick custard. Cover the surface with damp baking parchment or foil and cool off to room temperature.  
  4. Whisk the remaining 250ml cream with the vanilla, until you reach soft peaks, then fold through the custard. Use electric beaters to whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to stiff peaks; fold into the pudding. Scoop the pudding into small glasses, cover and chill for 2  hours, ideally overnight. Whisk the remaining cream 150ml cream,  and top with grated chocolate if using.

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