Really, a vanilla sauce can be any milk based, vanilla flavored sauce. A vanilla flavored hard sauce is a vanilla sauce, too.
Vanilla sauce is especially good on chocolate ice cream.
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Vanilla sauce is a thin liquid with a custard-like consistency. It is made from vanilla extract or vanilla beans, and it is often used as an ingredient in many types of recipes as well as a topping for several dishes. It is notably used in baking to give vanilla flavor to puddings, cakes, biscuits, breads and tarts, and to give flavor to vanilla milk, ice cream, and other desserts. It is possible to buy ready-made vanilla sauce in food stores, and the sauce can also be made at home.
The ingredients required to make vanilla sauce include eggs, vanilla extract, cornstarch, butter, sugar, salt, cream or milk, and water. The procedure of making the sauce is quite simple. First, egg yolks are are whisked by hand or in a blender for several minutes until they are nice and fluffy. The next step is to dissolve sugar and cornstarch in about a cupful of water in a pan, and to heat the mixture until it starts to boil. The mixture should then be allowed to simmer for a few minutes before adding the beaten eggs to it and blending them in thoroughly.
The heat should then be turned back up and the mixture should be cooked for about 20 minutes. It is necessary to keep stirring the mixture constantly as it cooks, both to get a smooth texture and to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The heat should then be turned down and the mixture should be allowed to simmer for a while. Vanilla extract, butter and salt are now added to the pan, and the ingredients should be mixed well. The vanilla sauce will be ready after about five to ten minutes of simmering.
The vanilla sauce can be eaten hot or be allowed to cool before it is used. It may be used as an ingredient in other food recipes or it may be used as a topping. If the vanilla sauce is to be made from vanilla beans, the beans are placed in a pan of milk and the milk is boiled and allowed to simmer. The pan is then removed from the heat and set aside to cool. The beans infuse the milk with the vanilla flavor, and the rest of the ingredients can then be added to the milk to make the vanilla sauce.