I know I’ve shocked some of you with recent posts, not only showing photos of my culinary exploits, but giving you recipes. I can now report further success and another recipe. When I was growing up, way back before the Parthenon was built (as a great friend of mine likes to remind me), Cahills Caramel Sauce was a huge thing in Australia. I just remember that you could buy it in a small tub at Coles or Woolies but apparently there were Cahills Family Restaurants in Sydney, which were famous for their ice-cream cake, dripping with gooey, fudgy caramel sauce.

The great tragedy of my childhood, otherwise a very happy one, was that my parents never took me to a Cahills Family Restaurant – because apparently there was one in the Strand Arcade in Sydney when I was growing up. Frankly, I have not forgiven them for this. And so I had to content myself with the waxed tubs of caramel sauce from the supermarket whacked onto some vanilla ice-cream and eaten at home. My mother used to torture me with stories of how before the War (that’s the Second World one), she would go every day for lunch to Cahills for a chicken sandwich and a piece of their ice-cream cake.

Despite my parents sad neglect of me when it came to Cahills caramel sauce, I spent about four months before my mother’s 90th birthday recreating the sauce. I couldn’t find a recipe for it and so experimented with various caramel sauce recipes until it tasted the way I remembered it. Somewhere in the boxes marked BC (that’s for books on cooking) is my recipe, which frankly I should guard jealously. But when I find it, I will post it here for all the Cahills caramel sauce lovers and for you poor suckers who never tasted the smooth, sensuousness of the caramel as it slid down….sorry.

In the meantime, I felt like making a caramel sauce to whack on some ice-cream the other day, so I consulted my grandmother’s handwritten recipe book and voilà – I found her recipe for a thinner sauce. But it still oozes with that rich buttery taste of Cahills. So here’s the recipe should you wish to dazzle a plate of ice-cream with an amazing sauce.

The finished caramel sauce, sitting in the 1940s/1950s yellow jug I bought recently.

125g butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour

1/4 cup cream

In a saucepan, combine the butter and sugar over a low heat – until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Keep stirring until mixture turns into a thick syrup. Be careful not to burn the mixture. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Combine the golden syrup, water and cornflour – mix until smooth – then add to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Then bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and stir in cream. This recipe makes around 1 1/2 cups of rather delish caramel sauce. Not as thick as Cahills but still great to whack on the old vanilla ice-cream. You can serve the sauce warm or cold.

UPDATE: in a later post, I shared two versions of the recipe I created.

Golden, rich and slightly decadent caramel sauce on vanilla ice-cream.

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