As you probably know from many of my recipes, I’m a lover of butter. We have a pretty solid relationship. I’m not one to subscribe to the idea that oils are better than butter, but I do understand that sometimes people can’t have dairy or some choose to simply not consume animal by-products. One ingredient that vegans love that I also adore is coconut milk. I could eat coconut everything all day long, I don’t tire of the flavor. It’s summer-y and refreshing and makes me feel like I’m on an island somewhere when I’m usually at home in front of my computer.
This dairy-free caramel is one of my favorite recipes as of late. It’s rich and flavorful, with a really wonderful coconut-flavor that is perfect on everything from a single scoop of vanilla ice cream to a decadent brownie sundae.
While I do love it, it varies from the heavy cream/butter variation that I usually make. It’s definitely thinner, but not by much. The coconut fat rises to the top so skimming it is a must. And when it cools in the fridge, the texture gets a bit strange and needs to be warmed up to get back to its normal self, but that’s it! It’s glorious. It’s definitely a dairy-free, vegan recipe that I’ll be making over and over.
Salted Coconut Caramel
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (15-ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- To a medium sauté pan, add the brown sugar. Add the vanilla bean (or extract) to the sugar and pour in the coconut milk. Turn the heat to medium and allow the mixture to reach a gentle boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
- Using a spoon, skim off any of the extra coconut fat that may be on the surface. If you want, you can even run the caramel through a sieve. (I did this extra step and didn’t regret it.) Mix in the salt and transfer to container to cool. The caramel will thicken as it cools. Store in the fridge. Just keep in mind that it needs to be reheated when it comes out of the fridge so it has that silky smooth texture again.
Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups caramel
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.