A long time ago in a place far away, the X-Files aired every Sunday evening. My friends gathered together each week to do dinner and watch the show.  We liked the show, but it was just the excuse to get together. I mostly remember BBQ, drinks, board games, darts, and lots of laughs.

One good memory was a favorite cocktail among the group, the Buttery Nipple, composed of Bailey’s Irish Cream, Butterscotch Schnapps, milk, and ice cubes.  You may know of the drink as a shooter, but we preferred it as a long drink with milk. We would sip these in the winter during the show. Just the smell of Bailey’s and butterscotch was enough to make me melt warmly into their old comfy couch and watch Mulder and Scully try to solve the unsolved mysteries of aliens and the like.

Years have gone by, the X-Files is no more, I rarely see those old friends, and I had almost forgotten the drink until I spotted a bottle of Baily’s Irish Cream on sale at the supermarket the other day. I knew right away what I would do with it. And so, Bailey’s is back, and with it, sweet memories of Sunday evenings in Atlanta long ago.

While putting together this recipe, I came across pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon’s lovely recipe for homemade butterscotch sauce on the site Simply Recipes.  It is quite easy to make and keeps for about a month in the fridge. I served this as a frozen mousse, but it will hold its form in the fridge as well. You might take it out of the freezer just a few minutes before serving.

A silicone muffin pan is perfect for making these. It makes unmolding them from the freezer very easy and very clean. If you have not got silicone cookware, use parchment paper to line the bottom and sides of the muffin tins so that when the time comes to serve them, it will be a piece of cake.

Recipe for buttery nipple frozen mousse:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 65 ml sugar syrup (30° Baumé, which means bring 100 ml of water and 135 g sugar to a boil) any extra syrup can be stored in the fridge or freezer for a couple of weeks and used to sweeten drinks or make other desserts)
  • 130 g white chocolate
  • 260 ml whipping cream, very cold
  • 3 tbs or more Bailey’s Irish Cream

A note on making sugar syrup: Use a very small saucepan and do not cover it. Once the water and sugar have come to a good boil, turn off the heat and allow to cool completely.

1 Prepare the “pâte à bombe.” Put the sugar syrup and egg yolks in a small bowl over a double boiler and heat while whisking with a whip until the mixture is as thick as a “crème anglaise.” It will be at about 83°C and when you dip a spoon in, then run your finger across the back of the spoon, your finger leaves a smooth trace.

2 When the egg-syrup mixture is thickened, pour it into a KitchenAid and beat at full speed, or mix with an electric mixer. Allow to turn at full speed until the mixture has lightened in color, taken a little volume, and cooled down a bit. This will take a few minutes. You now have a pâte à bombe.

3 Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. It needs to be nice and hot, around 45°C.

4 In a cold bowl whip the heavy whipping cream (or double cream) until soft peaks form, being careful not to over-whip. Add the Baily’s Irish cream and whip until just mixed. Taste to decide if you want to add a little more.

5 Assemble!  Using a whisk, add a little melted chocolate to the whipped cream and whisk well, but not more than you need to. Add the rest of the melted chocolate whisking well. Throw the whisk in the sink and pull out a spatula to carefully fold in the “pâte à bombe” or whipped egg syrup mixture until well mixed.

6 Spoon into silicone muffin pans, or parchment lined pans, and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight before unmolding.

7 When ready to serve, heat the butterscotch sauce just a little and top each mousse with a dripping spoonful. Add a little color to your plate with fresh edible flowers.

Recipe for homemade butterscotch sauce from pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

I will copy the recipe here in case it ever disappears, but go to Simply Recipes for a perfect explanation accompanied by photos that show you exactly how it should look.

Butterscotch takes about a half an hour to make, from start to finish.

1 First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go – the cream and the brown sugar next to the pan, measured and waiting. Making butterscotch is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients.

2 In a heavy bottomed stainless steel 2 quart saucepan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Just before butter is melted, add all dark brown sugar at once and stir with wooden spoon until sugar is uniformly wet.

3 Stir infrequently until mixture goes from looking grainy to molten lava. Make sure to get into the corners of your pot, and watch closely to notice how the mixture changes. It will take about 3 to 5 minutes.

4 Right before you add the cream, the caramelizing brown sugar will begin to look and feel more like liquid and less like thick wet sand.

5 At this point add all the cream at once and replace your spoon with a whisk. Lower heat a little and whisk cream into mixture. When liquid is uniform, turn heat back to medium and whisk every few minutes for a total of 10 minutes.

6 After liquid has been boiling on the stove for its 10 minutes, turn heat off and let rest for a minute or two before transferring into a heatproof storage vessel. (I prefer a stainless steel or glass bowl.) Cool to room temperature.

7 When butterscotch liquid is room temperature, take a small taste. It’s important to know what cooked brown sugar and butter tastes like, and what happens when transforming that flat sweetness into real butterscotch flavor. Whisk in half the salt and vanilla extract. Taste again. Add more salt and vanilla extract until the marvelous taste of real butterscotch is achieved.

Chill butterscotch sauce in a non-reactive container with a tightly fitting lid only after sauce has chilled completely. It will keep for one month refrigerated.


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