4 Ingredient Coconut Caramel
I'm allllll about the sweets. But is that really a secret now?
I've made probably over ten dessert recipes on i am rorie and I love minimal ingredient desserts. Some of my favorite recipes are ones with limited ingredients and cook times, like my 4 Ingredient Cinnamon Pear Tart. My latest recipe, Lemon Drop Cream Pie, is also very simple using ingredients you already in your pantry in less than 30 minutes.
Out of all the dessert toppings, caramel has always been my favorite. It's sweet and smooth, perfect with chocolate, vanilla ice cream, pretzels, and a whole lot more.
Caramel - nonvegan caramel - is really just butter and brown sugar reduced over a low simmer until it turns into a gooey, almost taffy like mixture.
Today I'm going to share a little science behind what we're making because I never explain why we're doing what we're doing along with what we're using.
Are you wondering why we're using coconut milk instead of vegan butter to make caramel?
Vegan butter isn't an amazing substitute for regular butter in this case because it has a very low burning point. This very important in the caramel making process because the butter is what prevents the sugar from browning any further (eventually burning) - vegan butter can't do this with such a low burning point.
Coconut milk, however, has a much higher burning point. In fact, all coconut products have higher burning points which is why it's never a bad idea to use coconut oil is all your cooking.
When cooking this gooey dreaminess, it's important to use a sauce pan over a pot. It's easier to ensure everything is being cooked evenly when you use a sauce pan over a pot. This will help prevent burning, too. I would know, because I burnt my first attempt at this by using a pot. So... just don't use a pot.
I'm so excited about this caramel and all the desserts it will be used on! I already know I'll be drizzling it on every goodie I can get my hands on (or my hands can make).
Make sure you keep the caramel refrigerated for maximum freshness. It will stay good for up to two weeks after making it.
- 1 14 oz. can of full fat coconut milk
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 tsp pink himalayan sea salt (regular salt is fine, too)
- Combine the coconut milk and brown sugar into a large sauce pan over low medium heat, stirring once every minute to prevent burning. Allow to cook at this heat until it starts to boil.
- Once the mixture begins to boil, add the vanilla extract and sea salt, stirring to evenly combine.
- Continue to boil at this temperature, stirring more now to help release excess liquid and reach the gooey texture you're looking for.
- After about 20-25 minutes of boiling at this temperature, the caramel consistency will be more visible. You'll know it's ready once you see that when stirring it slowly falls back to cover the pan, almost like a lava.
- At this point, remove the the pan from the heat, allowing the caramel to cool for just two minutes before transferring it to a glass container and placing in the fridge or use immediately.
When re-using, allow to warm up on the counter for 10-20 minutes, reaching room temperature. To reheat completely, either microwave for 10 seconds at a time or add the saucepan with a 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil to prevent the caramel from sticking.