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There is not really any one, specific recipe for butterscotch cream, partly because the definition of butterscotch is muddled and partly because many recipes refer to a number of combinations of ingredients as butterscotch cream. Broadly, butterscotch cream is any creamy base — whipped cream, yogurt, creme fraise, milk or pudding — that either has real butterscotch added or is flavored with artificial butterscotch or brown sugar. It often is used as a filling for pies, a topping for pastry or cupcakes, or as a pudding on its own. The cream can be a simple mixture of premade ingredients or it can be custard-like, made from only the most basic ingredients.
One of the more commonly accepted recipes for making butterscotch involves cooking brown sugar together with butter and other ingredients, such as vanilla and heavy cream. Very often, the taste of butterscotch is defined as that of cooked brown sugar. This has led to some butterscotch cream recipes that consist only of heavy cream, brown sugar and some vanilla.
A very simple and convenient way to make a butterscotch cream is to use imitation butterscotch flavoring. The flavoring, which is usually sold in a liquid form, can be incorporated into a thicker base such as whipped cream or yogurt. This creates a flavored topping or pudding that has a distinct butterscotch flavor.
A cooked version of butterscotch cream can be made by heating milk or cream in a double boiler before adding brown sugar, salt and some flour and cooking the mixture until it is smooth. Whole eggs or egg yolks are then added and the cream is cooked until it becomes thick. After it is removed from the heat, butter and vanilla are added to complete the butterscotch. This can then be used as a filling for a pie or can be allowed to set and eaten as pudding.
A similar cooked version of butterscotch cream can be made with milk and no eggs to create a thick but smoothly flowing cream sauce. This sauce can be used to top ice cream or as a glaze for the top of a cake or for fruit. The cream also can be used as a homemade flavoring when added to a thicker base.
A few variations of butterscotch cream can be made using only brown sugar and some other substance that has a rich, buttery flavor. These can include cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and buttercream frosting. Crumbled brown sugar can be incorporated into these bases, creating a thick cream that does not have the same depth of flavor as real butterscotch but which still bears the name in some recipes.