Rich, smooth, and sweet with a hint of savory, this creamy caramel sauce is the perfect topping for dairy-free desserts. Whether you're lactose-intolerant, allergic to milk or going vegan, this is the sauce that will keep your sweet tooth satisfied without breaking your diet. But because caramel is melted sugar, it's not exactly a caloric free for all. Use this sparingly as you enjoy your sweet treat.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, agave nectar and water to a boil, stirring well at first to dissolve the sugar.
- Turn down the heat to low and cook until the liquid is deep amber in color, about 12 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Remove the pan from heat. Very carefully (the mixture will bubble), stir in the coconut milk, dairy-free soy margarine, and salt until smooth.
- Let cool slightly before using to fill tarts, coat apples, or serve over dairy-free ice cream.
Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips
You may prefer using agave nectar, which this recipe calls for, but ginger syrup or traditional light corn syrup works just as well. As a substitute for the white granulated sugar in this recipe, you might try coconut sugar. It has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, at 35. It also has vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron as well as glutamine. While it is not low calories, sharing a similar calorie and carbohydrate make up as sugar, it is more nutritious and some people who follow the Paleo diet, use coconut sugar instead of white granulated sugar because it is naturally derived from the flower bud of the coconut palm. Another ingredient substitution that can work is the use of unsweetened almond milk instead of coconut milk. The sauce will be more liquidy, but the taste will be maintained. Also, if you want to avoid soy, you can use other vegan butter brands interchangeably.
This caramel sauce can be served in many ways. From oatmeal to toast to waffles and every other dessert imaginable, this vegan caramel sauce can enhance it. Use it for tarts like these dairy-free caramel tassies recipe or for dressing up dairy-free sundaes. Another use of this sauce is as a fruit dip. Apples are the obvious choice, but pears and peaches are even sweeter with a drizzle. Last, but certainly not least, dial up your popcorn snack with this caramel sauce for your very own vegan caramel popcorn.