Vanilla Sauce is one those tried and true dessert staples in Scandinavia, and conjures up so many childhood memories. They pour it on every dessert from chocolate pudding and fresh summer berries, to bread pudding and eplekake (traditional Norwegian apple cake). I can’t think of anything that beats the taste of fresh summer raspberries with vanilla sauce. It’s so good and it baffles me why it isn’t popular everywhere. This is an elegant way to compliment most desserts. It is a bit more complicated than whipping cream but not by much. There are a number of ways to prepare it but each method usually leads you to the same result. At least it has for me so far. You’ll have to decide whether you want to use cream or milk, the difference is probably obvious. If you’re counting calories or cholesterol, you know which one you’ll want. I plan on trying a few new ones in the near future, as I try them I’ll post the outcome here so you can decide which you like best. It’s an elegant topping to many simple desserts for guests, or perfect for those days you just want something a little different. Norwegians, like the rest of the world, have fallen prey to processed foods as they’ve become available, and more often than not, buy it packaged at the grocery store. I do too. I search out Norwegian specialty stores and often pick up a few packages to have on hand, or order it through mail order. But no more. I am hooked on homemade Vanilla Sauce.
Here’s how you make it:
1 cup milk or heavy cream
1/2 cup heavy cream for whipping
3 or 4 egg yolks, depending on size of eggs
8 Tblsp. sugar
1 vanilla bean or 2 – 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used Madagascar vanilla to taste)
Mix the cream and egg yolks together in a small saucepan. If you’re using a vanilla bean, cut it lengthwise and scrape out the innards into the cream/yolk mixture now. Slowly add the sugar, and begin whisking the mixture over low heat. Do not let it boil! Continue to whisk it without stopping until it begins to thicken, and stays on your finger or spoon when you dip it. At this point, turn the heat off and let it sit. It will thicken a little more on its own. Before serving, whip some cream and add it to the vanilla sauce until it’s fully blended. This gives it a thick, creamy texture causing it to drape itself gracefully over whatever desert is being honored by its presence.
Hope you like it!