James Bond food butterscotch

Butterscotch sauce

James Bond’s first meal after arriving in New York at the start of Live and Let Die (1954) is a feast of soft-shell crabs, hamburgers, french-fried potatoes, broccoli, a salad and, to finish, ice-cream. We aren’t told the flavour of ice-cream – I like to think it’s vanilla – but we know it’s served with melted butterscotch. We read that James Bond is happy with the menu, though is somewhat dubious about the butterscotch.  A near-contemporaneous recipe for butterscotch sauce is included in Mary Mcbride’s cookbook, Harvest of American cooking: with recipes for 1000 of America’s favorite dishes (1957, Putnam), and this has inspired the recipe below. While a thermometer is recommended when making sauces of this kind, my recipe, ideal for the agent in the field, doesn’t require one.

Makes several servings

  • 130g dark brown sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 70ml Golden Syrup
  • 50ml evaporated milk

Combine the sugar, water and syrup in a saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir continuously and gradually bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for about 8-10 minutes, by which time the mixure should have reached the ‘soft-ball stage’ (a drop of the mixture should turn into a ball when dropped into cold water). Take the saucepan off the heat. When the mixture has cooled, add the milk to the sauce a small portion at a time and stir well until all the milk is used up and thoroughly combined. Drizzle the sauce over ice-cream.

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