Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Caramel Sauce

Caramel is sugar that has been taken just to the edge of burning. Caramel's color reveals the extent to which it is cooked, the palest form is just concentrated sugar syrup, and the next stage is golden, followed by amber and dark.

2 ounces (1/4 cup) condensed coconut milk (page 105), or plain coconut milk creamer (So Delicious®)
1/2 cup coconut butter, or soy-free vegan buttery spread (Earth Balance®), or butter of choice
1 cup light brown sugar, or dark brown sugar, or evaporated cane juice, or cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt

Reduced Coconut Milk
  1. Place small saucepan over medium heat; add 14 ounces (1 can) coconut milk (include fat from lid and can); bring to slow boil; stir frequently; reduce heat to simmer.
  2. Simmer; stir frequently; reduce coconut milk by half, to around 6 ounces (3/4 cup); pour into storage container; cool; refrigerate up to 3 days.
Caramel Sauce Preparation
  1. Place small saucepan over medium heat; add coconut butter; stir to melt.
  2. Whisk in light brown sugar, pure vanilla extract, and sea salt; whip constantly.
  3. Bring liquid to boil; water will boil off (about 3 minutes); stir frequently.
  4. Reduce heat to low; add condensed coconut milk; whip constantly.
  5. Once coconut milk has been incorporated, bring to slow boil; cook to “soft-ball stage” (test this by dropping a small amount of sauce into room temperature water and watch it as it enters the water and falls, if a small bead or ball forms it is “soft-ball”; it is ready).
The length of cooking time determines the thickness of this sauce; cook until desired thickness is reached.

Pour sauce into storage container; set aside to cool; cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.

To reheat: place in small saucepan over medium heat until sauce bubbles; stir constantly; cook until heated through.

Servings: 1/2 cup
Preheat: None
Prep Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 20 min

  • Reduced coconut cream: rehydrate one 7-ounce package creamed coconut (Let’s Do …®) in 2 ounces (1/4 cup) very hot water; stir until completely smooth; proceed with recipe as stated, using 1/4 cup of rehydrated coconut milk.
  • Omit coconut butter; add 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil and 2 tablespoons palm shortening during Step 1.
  • To use dairy: replace coconut milk creamer with heavy cream of choice; replace coconut butter with butter of choice.
  • A granulated sweetener must be used in this recipe for proper caramel formation.
  • If using candy thermometer, “soft-ball stage” is equal to 234–240°F/112–115°C. Please refer to page 149 for further information on heating sugar and the stages of Candymaking.

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