I’m so glad you’re here! I bet you’re here because you have excellent taste in candy and know that real butterscotch candy must be delicious! You are so right, and I’m going to teach you how to make it! In the recipe itself, I also give variations in cooking temperatures so you can make anything from butterscotch sauce to toffee (just see the Notes section in the recipe below).
Speaking of temperatures, knowing the temperature of your sugar syrup as you’re cooking is vital to success.
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In the butterscotch versus caramel post, I said that both confections require salt, although butterscotch needs more than caramel. And then I thought of that 1848 “recipe” for traditional Doncaster butterscotch, calling for one pound each of sugar and butter and a quarter pound of treacle. I was also pondering the fact that the proportion of sugar to butter in butterscotch is 1:1 while butter doesn’t necessarily play a role in caramel, and that’s when it hit me.
Butterscotch and caramel were probably both originally made using salted butter. So, the more butter called for, the more salt the end product contained. —Pronouncement by Me based on nothing but conjecture. But it feels right, doesn’t it? I mean, back before refrigeration, salt was put in the butter as a preservative, so it stands to reason that the butter Back Then was Pretty Darned Salty.
I read on OChef.com that some salted butters can contain up to 3% salt, or about 3/4 teaspoon per stick. Or up to 1 whole Tablespoon per pound. So, if the original Doncaster butterscotch was made with a base recipe of one pound of (presumably) salted butter, it would also contain about 1 Tablespoon of salt. Hence: salt is a Big Player in butterscotch’s flavor profile. Magical!
And with that, I give you Real, Traditional, Authentic, Amazingly Good Butterscotch Candy. With Options for changing the texture, as well.