One thing I haven’t made yet is vegan caramel. With the holidays soon approaching, I’m busy altering and creating new frosting recipes and cupcakes to make them appropriate for the holidays. It occurred to me that my new caramel cream cheese frosting (yes, it’s THAT good) would be ultra amazing drizzled with vegan caramel. Thus, I set forth searching for the best and brightest vegan caramel recipes to see what fits and what doesn’t. Enter: Vegan Caramel Three Ways!
All three caramel recipes I’ve found are different and seem to produce slightly different textures and, I’m assuming flavours as well. Things I’m looking for in a recipe include: true to caramel flavour, thickness and texture (the ability to hold up and set once drizzled) and a healthier recipe using no refined sugar.
So! First up, a recipe from Bunners’ Simple & Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Treats (yes, I bought the book) that is a bit unconventional in that it uses liquid sugar and is thickened with the help of arrowroot powder. I don’t use brown rice syrup which is what the recipe calls for, so I took my chance with agave which actually turned out to be a huge mistake. While the colour was beautiful it had a very artificial flavour. Freshly made, the caramel had a nice texture but once cooled it turned very gel-like and not similar to caramel at all. 3/10
Next up, is a recipe from Pinch of Yum which is a bit different (actually, a lot different) and uses a base of coconut oil, maple, and almond butter. A bit healthier which I prefer but the texture will not be %100 smooth (and close to a traditional caramel) using almond butter. This one had the best flavour overall and I was surprised by just how caramel it tasted with such simple ingredients. I am a huge fan of all three of these things so it’s no surprise that they’re delicious put together too! The sauce was very thin when fresh though and when cooled turned into more of a paste. It also was very clear with specks of almond. While not something I would use for decorations as the texture is not suitable, I would definitely use this for other things! It’s so yummy I practically ate it all just on it’s own! Alright, I did… 5/10
And lastly, a recipe from My Fussy Eater that is made with a base of coconut sugar – a personal favourite of mine, as well as coconut milk. The method here is to melt and then bring to a boil coconut sugar in cold water and then add the coconut cream. It worked perfectly and resulted in a nice caramel with a beautiful perfect caramel texture. The only problem is that the coconut sugar I’m using right now is quite dark and the caramel is a veerrryyy dark shade of brown and it is almost bitter even without any added salt. Still though, it was my favourite and I think using a lighter coconut sugar would result in something even better. A slight drizzle on top of creamy frosting will be yummy! 8/10
What’s your favourite caramel recipe? 🙂