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Non Dairy Caramel Sauce?

amyzan Mar 21, 2011 09:24 AM

Anyone ever made a caramel sauce with a non dairy liquid in place of the heavy cream? I'm thinking of using coconut milk, but haven't a clue if the fat content is comparable, or if it would be a spectacular flop. It's only sugar I'm experimenting with, and coconut milk isn't that expensive, but I thought I'd ask first...

  1. a
    addicted2cake Mar 22, 2011 08:46 AM

    I have made dairy free carmel sauce using So Delicious Original Coconut milk and Mimic Creme. I was happy with both results So Delicious Coconut milk has a little more fat than the lite, canned coconut milks and the flavor is less intense - which I prefer. I really liked the Mimic Creme, the fat comes from nuts and I think the fat content of the product is comparable to heavy cream. You can get it on line from netrition.com, it's a little cheaper than ordering it from the company. Some Whole Foods Markets carry the product, too. I say experiment with the coconut milk and see if you like it - full fat or lower fat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: addicted2cake
      amyzan Mar 22, 2011 09:26 AM

      I have some of the So Delicious creamer in the fridge, and like it in coffee. I had noticed that the fat content is way lower than half and half even, so wasn't sure that these products were the right fit. So, thanks for sharing--very helpful. I've found Mimic Creme at a local cooperative grocery, so will pick some of that up.

      Greygarious, wouldn't the caramelized sugar harden to the pan without the fat content? I've never made caramel with a low or no fat liquid. Hmm...maybe Harold McGee will help me out here...

      1. re: amyzan
        addicted2cake Mar 22, 2011 02:10 PM

        amyzan, the coconut milk I use, So Delicious Original in the 64 oz carton, has 5 grams of fat. I think the SD c.m. coffee creamer has less fat, though. Maybe full fat c.m. would be the way to go, if you're willing to experiment. I really like Mimic Creme, have used it successfully in chocolate, vanilla, and butterscotch puddings. Very nice texture and taste. Please report back and let us know what worked for you.

    2. greygarious Mar 22, 2011 08:53 AM

      I have not tried it, but my first thought was to use apple cider or apple juice as the liquid.

      1. b
        beanodc Mar 22, 2011 12:58 PM

        I recently made it using lower fat coconut milk because I had an open can and wanted to experiment. it was OK - not great, but OK. Give it a try and see what you think.

        1 Reply
        1. re: beanodc
          amyzan Jun 11, 2011 01:41 PM

          I did the same and had a similar outcome. Okay, definitely not great caramel sauce. It's taken me a while to find coconut milk full fat without sodium metabisulfate. Will report back on the caramel with the full fat product...

        2. biondanonima Mar 22, 2011 02:16 PM

          Depending on the reason you want to find a sub for cream, you might try goat's milk. Still "dairy," but not cow. I have made a Bobby Flay German Chocolate cake a couple of times that uses coconut milk and goat milk in the caramel, with good results - the goat's milk adds a nice tang.

          1 Reply
          1. re: biondanonima
            amyzan Mar 23, 2011 09:36 AM

            Family member who can't eat casein, so I believe goat's milk is out, unfortunately. But, thanks for the suggestion!

          2. r
            rockycat Mar 23, 2011 06:38 AM

            During Passover I have used the frozen Rich's non-dairy "cream" and coffee creamer in place of heavy cream in both baking and making a whipped cream analog. It worked fine for me. It might be worth trying in a caramel sauce. I'd be willing to give it a go.

            1. kosherfoodies Mar 23, 2011 07:29 AM

              i've used soymilk for caramel sauce- many brands are actually dairy, but i found one that wasn't; i think it was zensoy.

              1. m
                maxie Mar 23, 2011 10:16 AM

                Plain old coconut milk works great!

                1. c
                  christinaref Jun 11, 2011 04:52 AM

                  I've made this before and it's really good---just a slight tint of coconut taste in the background: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/200...
                  Great over ice cream.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: christinaref
                    amyzan Jun 11, 2011 01:39 PM

                    That recipe looks interesting, but I'm wondering about the flavor? It doesn't really sound from the ingredients like it'd taste like dulce de leche or caramel, though. Did you make it with dark or light brown sugar? If the molasses flavor comes through, that could add the note of bitterness that's so appealing about caramel, but merely sweet isn't what I'm looking for. Do you mind if I ask you for more descriptors on the flavor? I wouldn't be serving it with ice cream, unfortunately.

                    1. re: amyzan
                      christinaref Jun 11, 2011 02:30 PM

                      Hi Amyzan, It was pretty sweet no doubt---I think I used light brown sugar but think dark brown could make for a richer taste. I made it a while ago, right after the recipe came out b/c I have a dairy-allergic child who had never had caramel before. She liked it but it's definitely something where a little goes a long way.

                      And the caramel company mentioned below is JJ Sweets---I'm dying to try their salted caramel Cocomels. . .

                  2. JEN10 Jun 11, 2011 06:11 AM

                    I have just made 2 very succesful batches of coconut milk (full fat) ice cream. Here in Boulder there is a company that makes delicious carmels with coconut milk. I believe the co name is J and J Carmels, or something like that

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JEN10
                      amyzan Jun 11, 2011 01:39 PM

                      I'll keep an eye out for those, thanks.

                    2. j
                      jvanderh Jun 13, 2011 07:03 AM

                      There are a couple on the net:


                      I haven't tried either myself, sorry.

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