I am super excited about today’s post because it is all about one of the greatest foods that exists…salted caramel!
Yes please and pass the spoon.
Salted caramel blends the delicious flavours of salty and sweet, and is creamy and devine drizzled on top of just about anything. This particular recipe uses just 4 ingredients and is also dairy-free and vegan meaning everyone can enjoy this liquid gold.
Drizzle it on top of ice cream (my fav), on top of apple pies (super easy apple turnover recipe coming soon!), make my snickers cupcakes, try some homemade caramel popcorn, or just eat it with a spoon (my husbands fav).
However you choose to eat it, this is one sauce you will be happy to master as the uses really are endless and salted caramel is always a good idea.
How to make vegan salted caramel
Making caramel from scratch can be intimidating as if you don’t watch that sugar like a hawk, you can end up with a bitter and burnt sticky mess. But by following a few simple steps and making sure you are prepared, you will be the master of homemade caramel in no time.
To get started, choose a small saucepan, preferably one with taller sides as you want to ensure there is enough room for the mixture to bubble up when the dairy-free butter and coconut milk are added without spilling out the sides.
Place your saucepan on the stove on a medium to low heat with the sugar. How hot exactly will be highly dependant on your stove top, so just keep an eye on your sugar and adjust the temperature as necessary.
There is a little debate around whether to stir or not stir the sugar as it melts. I like to stir with a wooden spoon, but not constantly, just enough so that you are moving the sugar around so it heats evenly and preventing crystallisation on the edges of the pan.
The sugar will take a few minutes to start to melt and you will be tempted to hurry the process along by turning up the heat – don’t do this. Just watch and wait and eventually you will see the sugar start to melt and turn a light golden colour. In this step we really want to keep the sugar nice and lightly golden, so if you find the sugar getting a little dark before all the sugar has melted, just turn down the heat and keep stirring, breaking down any larger lumps with your wooden spoon.
It is pretty important that your dairy-free butter and coconut milk are at room temperature as adding cold ingredients to the hot sugar will cause it to not mix through correctly.
As soon as all of the sugar is melted, add the dairy-free butter and mix through. This is where the mixture will bubble up, as even though you had it at room temperature, there is still a difference in temperature of the ingredients. You may want to grab a whisk to help mix the butter into the sugar.
Add in the coconut milk and whisk through until everything is smooth. Leave on the stove, don’t worry about mixing here, and let boil for 5-10 minutes. During this time you will notice the caramel darken in colour and start to thicken. You will know that it is done when it is an amber colour and coats the back of a spoon.
Once you’re happy with the caramel, add and mix through the salt. This part is always a bit subjective. If you prefer regular sweet caramel to the salted variety add in about ¼ of a teaspoon to start, while for salted, I start with ½ a teaspoon and then adjust from there until I get the flavour I like. You can always add more salt but you cannot take away if you add too much!
Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool down to room temperature. The caramel will continue to thicken. Pour cooled caramel into a jar and store in the fridge. It will get really thick in the fridge, so just zap it in the microwave before using if you want it a little more ‘drizzle’ consistency.
This recipe is vegan and dairy-free but even though I use coconut milk, I find it only has a subtle flavour of the coconut therefore it still is perfect paired with a versatile range of desserts. The quality of the dairy-free butter that you use will impact the flavour and the texture so try and find one that isn’t overly greasy. I like Nuttelex Buttery for this recipe.
Making salted caramel sauce at home really is easy, and once you nail this recipe you will be finding any dessert excuse to make another batch!
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons dairy-free spread , room temperature
- 200 ml coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon salt , or to taste
- In a small saucepan on a medium low heat, melt sugar giving it a stir, scraping the bottom and the sides with a wooden spoon as it starts to melt. You will get lumps and may even get some crystals which is ok, just slowly let the sugar melt into a syrup. It will start to turn a light golden colour. If it is getting too dark before the sugar has completely melted, then your heat is too high - turn it down and wait.
- Once the sugar had melted, add in dairy-free spread and stir through with a whisk until melted. The sugar is extremely hot, and the caramel will bubble up and increase in size during this step, so step back as you add in your ingredients being careful not to splash the mixture.
- Add in coconut milk and whisk to combine. Let the caramel come to the boil and then let simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes an amber colour and it has thickened, coating the back of a spoon. Add salt and taste, adding more if you like it a bit saltier.
- Take the caramel off the heat and allow to cool. The mixture will continue to thicken until it has cooled completely. Pour cooled caramel into a jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Drizzle over everything!
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