Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Three Great Dessert Sauces - definitive recipes

Although it's easy - and lovely - to serve ice cream or fruit tart unadorned, or stick to lemon or maple syrup for pancakes, adding a home-made sauce magically lifts desserts to the memorable. My absolute favourite is the butterscotch sauce poured over home-made or bought tiny meringues which are built into a pyramid held together with whipped cream. Children love to help make the pyramid and then pour on the warm sauce.

Here are three of my favourite recipes for dessert sauces, each very easy and making enough for 6 or for a meringue cream pyramid. They can be made in advance and warmed through later.

By Lee McCoy
220g good quality plain chocolate
55g butter
8 tbsp single cream
4 tbsp golden syrup

1  Break the chocolate into chunks, and place in a small pan with the other ingredients.
2  Heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate is melted, but don't allow the mixture to boil.
3  Best served warm.

300ml single cream
8 tbsp golden syrup
110g soft brown sugar
50g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (otherwise vanilla essence)

1  Place the cream, syrup and sugar in a small pan.
2  Bring to the boil, and simmer gently for about 3 minutes.
3  Add the butter and vanilla and stir over a gentle heat until the butter melts and blends in.

By 'The Ewan'
75g butter
150g sugar (preferably caster)
1 large orange - finely grated zest and the juice
1 large lemon  - finely grated zest and the juice
2 level tsp cornflour, mixed to a thin paste with a little water

1  Melt the butter in a small pan.
2  Add the sugar and the orange and lemon zest and juices.
3  Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes.
4  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cornflour paste.
5  Return to a medium heat and stir continuously until the sauce comes to the boil and
         thickens. It will thicken further as it cools.
6  Adding about 75ml of basic orange liqueur before the sauce cools is an option!
As above, these sauces can be poured over ice cream, meringues or pancakes. The orange sauce would also go well with crumbed and fried Quorn fillets or with slices of madeira cake. The butterscotch could be poured over banoffee pie or sliced fresh fruit such as peaches or mandarins. And as for the chocolate sauce ... how about a little on an orange sorbet, or drizzled over or around a fruit tart (strawberry, apple, lemon, lime)?