Caramel sauce is a fall treat those allergic to dairy cannot enjoy - until now. Thanks to the wide availability of canned coconut milk and cream, this simple dairy-free caramel is not only easy, but also a delicious, allergy-free treat. It can be used alone as a dip or in other recipes which call for caramel sauce (like my Allergy-free Carmelita Bars).
I got the idea for this recipe from a post by the Allergy Free Test Kitchen. I adapted it slightly to have only 5 ingredients: Coconut cream, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla. The coconut cream is the thick substance found in a can of full-fat coconut milk. It can be scooped off the top of the can. If the cream is incorporated into the coconut water, you can use that as well. It'll just take longer to boil off the water.
Melt the coconut cream and salt in a saucepan:
Add the sugars and bring to boil.
It will soon come to a rolling boil.
A candy thermometer comes in handy during this process. Be sure to not let it touch the bottom of the pan, which would cause inaccurate readings.
Making candy is basically a process of boiling off the water until the consistency is where you want it. I posted a few pictures of the caramel dip to show the consistency at different temperatures. At 200 degrees, the caramel was pretty runny. At 210 degrees, it turned a little darker and slightly thicker, but not quite thick enough for a dip. At 215 degrees, the caramel was the right consistency and a nice caramel color. Keep in mind that these temperatures may vary, depending on what altitude you live at. I live at 5000 feet, so water boils at a lower temperature than it does at sea level. The important thing is to keep checking the consistency.
Once this consistency was reached, I removed the caramel sauce from the heat and stirred in the vanilla. The result was a nice thick sauce, perfect for dipping apples!
Dairy-free Caramel Dip
(makes 1 cup)
- 1 c coconut cream
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1/2 c light brown sugar
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/2 t vanilla
- Combine the coconut cream and sea salt in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add sugars, stir well, and bring to a boil.
- Keep track of temperature with a candy thermometer (be sure to not let it touch the bottom of the saucepan). Allow mixture to boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches between 215 and 225 degrees F. The sauce should be a nice caramel color as well as a think consistency - good for dipping.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Enjoy!
Adapted from Allergy-free Test Kitchen