Remember butterscotch from school in the 1980’s? Here’s a rough recipe

Ok, sorry to those who have been eagerly awaiting my recipe. My recipe is not measured, my mother taught me to work in number of spoons or by the eye and this is just one of those recipes.

So here’s the ingredients and recipe for butterscotch from my school days:

Take a tablespoon of Stork Margarine and heat in a saucepan, don’t boil the margarine, just melt it. Once melted add around half a pint of semi-skimmed milk. You will notice that they don’t mix, so don’t go whisking like crazy, just let the two mingle for a moment. Next add a lot of demerara sugar and I mean a lot, this would be around 5 tablespoons worth, yes you read right and let the sugar dissolve.

Next step is to add Butterscotch Essence and it has to be essence, you can buy it online as you’ll never find it in a shop, I purchased this one Foodie Flavours Butterscotch Essence.

Add about twenty drops, this stuff is very strong so you may think surely not but believe me its required, they obviously don’t make food flavouring like they used to, smell the liquid now and you should start to think, its all coming back now. Add another two tablespoons of sugar.

Now we have to thicken the liquid and for this we are going to need to add a little bit of flour and then cornflour. Taking some of the hot liquid out of the pan, put into a measuring jug or other tall bowl and we are going to thicken the liquid bit by bit. Add a teaspoon of flour to the jug and add a couple of spoonful’s of the hot liquid to the flour and beat, until smooth and repeat this process eventually being able to add more liquid to flour. For this just use common sense, we aren’t looking for gloop, just a smooth mixture similar to thick cream, the cornflour will do the final thickening in the pan.

Once the liquid has gone from runny to cream like, put back in the pan and use three teaspoons or thereabouts of cornflour mixed in in cold water and then add to the pan, stirring with a slatted wooden spatula, making sure that the mixture doesn’t set on the sides or base of the pan, at this point you may want to add some more drops of butterscotch essence too, you’re just going to have to taste this one out, adding more sugar or essence as you remember it to be like. When the mixture looks thick enough, leave it till its just warm, beat well and then put into a pastry case or if you’ve had the time to pre-bake a pastry flan then great.

The mixture will set and once set decorate with bits of Cadburys Flake. I do hope you get what I got, a trip down memory lane, please leave a comment about how it goes for you and I’m sorry I cant be exact with the quantities but its taken me 30 years or so to get to this stage and I don’t think it can be replicated entirely anymore because of the time gone by and how ingredients have changed over the years.

Good Luck x


So I’ve been searching for and trying to replicate one of my favourite all time school deserts for just over a decade now. Memories of The Minster School canteen in Southwell, word spread quickly if this was ever made and it used to sell out quickly.

I remember it well, the exact taste and consistency and up until now, every recipe I’ve tried had no comparison, till today.

Butterscotch from the 1980s school dinnersI’ve managed to recreate this gorgeous desert and I’m so pleased as its taken possibly hundreds of internet hours and pounds to get it right. After trying versions with evaporated milk, condensed milk, demerara sugar, dark brown sugar, plain flour and cornflour, I’ve got the exact ingredients to form this once loveable classic desert.

This used to be served from a large tin tray and cut into rectangles, with chocolate shavings on top.

As I believe I have cracked this, I want to see how many people are still searching for this recipe, which I will unveil next week. Please leave a comment at the bottom of this page if you’d like to share your memories of butterscotch and Ill reveal all next week.

One thought on “Remember butterscotch from school in the 1980’s? Here’s a rough recipe

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