From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
100g (4oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) butter, diced
100ml (3½fl oz) cream
1 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
2 tblsp dark rum
Bring the sugar and 200ml (7fl oz) water to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until reduced by a quarter and syrupy.
Add the butter, cream, vanilla seeds and rum to the caramel, stirring until combined, then simmer gently for another 5 minutes, until thickened. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes, until thickened a little further.
This is ready to serve warm or transfer to a bowl and leave to cool completely, then cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until needed. This can also be put in a squeezy bottle. Use warm or cold as required.
Variation: Salted Butterscotch Sauce - Add 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes with the vanilla seeds and cook as described above.
Cook Ahead: This will keep happily for up to 1 week covered with clingfilm in the fridge.