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Non Dairy Caramel Sauce?

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...

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  1. 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

      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

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

      1. 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

          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. 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

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

          2. 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. 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. Plain old coconut milk works great!

                1. 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

                    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

                      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. 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

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

                      1. Hi Amyzan,

                        try this -
                        any kind of non-dairy "butter" 1/4 cup (solid coconut oil works too)
                        1/4 cup white sugar
                        2/3 cup brown sugar
                        1 TABLESPOON vanilla
                        1 egg, well beaten in bowl

                        Melt "butter" while scrambling egg; reduce head on melted butter
                        Temper egg by adding 1 TBS of melted butter two or three times
                        Add white sugar to melted butter and stir
                        Add brown sugar to melted butter and stir
                        Mix will be grainy
                        Raise heat to medium and slowly stir in egg
                        Keep stirring until brown and bubbly - at least 220°
                        Boil until desired stage - soft ball up to hard candy
                        best to use a non-stick pan and make in small batches
                        Keeps up to a week in the fridge if not used right away

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: PennySoup

                          this may soud stupid but what do you mean by reducing head?and also whats tempering?

                          1. re: Lil_Rose

                            Its a typo, should say "reducing heat"

                            Tempering the egg just means you stir as adding the melted vegan butter slowly a little at a time- this prevents the egg from scrambling from the hot butter