Monday, March 21, 2011
how to become addicted to caramel in 5 easy steps!
One of the things that has been hardest for Leslie is butter and cream. She adores ice cream, sundaes, whipped cream, etc. So I made chai coconut milk ice cream from Amy Green and while it was chilling in the ice box, I had a eureka moment-if I can do ice cream with coconut milk, why can't I do caramel?? The whipped coconut cream turned out pretty darn good. After all, a good caramel sauce is sugar, cream and butter-simple, right? So I decided to experiment, and let me tell you that is step 1 in becoming addicted. The sauce turns out beautifully brown, you could smell that unique almost-but-not-quite burned sugar and pours like a dream over ice cream. I ate several spoonfuls before I ever got any ice cream, and then, of course, when I did get ice cream, drizzling some over is a must! There are, I am sure, a trazillion caramel sauce recipes out there, but Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes does an excellent one and has great pictures! My next step would be to see if I can do this with palm sugar or coconut sugar-we were out of both this weekend. There was a chopped episode on the food network (speaking of addictions)and one of the chefs made a caramel sauce with piloncillo sugar and it was gorgeous dark, nutty brown! So there will be update with the palm sugar, if I can get it to work, but to feed addictions in the meantime, there is dairy free caramel sauce.
this post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Allergy Friendly Friday
Dairy Free Caramel Sauce
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of coconut cream (from a can that was chilled for at least 24 hours in ice box)
6 tablespoon of Earth Balance (we use the soy free)
Ok get the heaviest saucepan that you own, 2 or 3 quart size. You are going to be heating up sugar, and you don't want it splashing back on you. Take your chilled can of coconut milk and use the pointy end your bottle opener to open two small triangles on the bottom of the can so all of the coconut water can come rushing out. (you can save this for a smoothie or discard, as you wish) Now using your can opener, open the top of the can and scoop out the cream into your measuring cup(or honestly, I eyeballed it, went that looks like 1/2 a cup, and got on with the sugar cooking). Measure out the tablespoons of the Earth Balance into another cup. Now that you have all you need laid out, you can begin; otherwise, trying to measure stuff while your sugar is heating up is a good way to get 2nd degree burns upon your person and even worse-completely burn the sugar to inedibility.
Heat the sugar in the saucepan over med/high heat. DO NOT TOUCH THE SUGAR NOW. Otherwise, your caramel sauce will be grainy; no, just allow the heat to do the job and melt the sugar. When the sugar has started to melt-you will see several small brown patches interspersed within the white sugar, take the pan off the heat and swirl the saucepan like mad woman! Keep hold of the handle and keep the hot sugar inside going in a circular motion. Keep swirling til all of the sugar is that beautiful caramelized brown. Now return pan to the heat and add in the Earth Balance, whisking like a dervish til the Earth balance has melted. Take the pan off the heat again, and slowly whisk in the coconut cream-it WILL foam up and look like it is about to take over your kitchen!(this is why the heaviest pan your own) Never fear, that is why you took it off the heat and why it is important that you whisk CONSTANTLY at this point. Keep whisking til it is smooth and creamy and pours evenly, no lumps! When it has cooled enough to touch, but is still warm enough to pour, go ahead and pour it into whatever jar or tupperware container you keep your caramel in. Or just pour it all right onto your ice cream. Makes about 1 cup of caramel sauce.