Hot butterscotch with ice-cream and caramelised pastry
As with brown and dark-brown sugar, Australia produces black sugar. All three derive from a similar process of refining the sugar then adding back the molasses. The difference in colour is indicative of the amount of molasses contained - the more molasses, the stronger the flavour and moister the sugar.
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- 8cm square of puff pastry
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 400g brown, black or rapadura sugar
- 250ml cream
- 200g unsalted butter
- Vanilla ice-cream
More interesting is rapadura sugar. The one I bought from my local health food shop came from the Philippines. It is made from the dried sugar cane juice containing all its molasses. In this process the sugar is formed into a dry, hard brick and then ground down to a coarse, light brown powder.
The powder is dry compared to the brown sugars, is not as sweet and has a delicate vanilla-caramel flavour. Try it on porridge, in cakes (especially banana cake) or desserts where colour is not an issue.
Roll the puff pastry into a rectangle 10-12cm wide. Sprinkle the caster sugar onto the pastry and roll it in with the rolling pin. Cut into 1cm-wide sticks, twisting each three or four times. Rest in the refrigerator on baking trays for 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated 220C oven until the sugar begins to caramelise, then turn the sticks and finish baking them. Cool and store in an airtight container.
To make the butterscotch, heat the dark sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan, whisking until the butter is entirely incorporated. Scoop some vanilla ice-cream in serving coupes, spoon some hot butterscotch over it and serve with the caramelised pastry sticks.