Coconut Milk Fleur de Sel Caramels [Vegan]
I'm visiting a friend in Austin and I wanted to bring along a special treat, but this friend doesn't eat dairy so I had to improvise. I found a well reviewed, promising vegan caramel recipe and i decided to give it a try replacing soy milk with coconut milk.
I used Chaokoh brand coconut milk, which is quite rich (150 calories/third of a cup) so I wouldn't try this with a "light" coconut milk. This was more of a 'coconut cream'.
Also, your candy mixture will spend a long time at about 212 degrees (the boiling point of water) as the water evaporates out, that's okay. But just know that once it gets > 212 degrees it will rapidly approach 245.
Use a LARGE pot (I used my dutch oven). As the mixture gets to boiling it will bubbly quite a bit.
Next time, I think I might try caramelizing the sugar and then adding the remainder of the ingredients, as my caramels came out somewhat light. Another option would be doing 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown. If you don't have coconut milk lying around a soy-based creamer (or just soy milk) should suffice. Don't know about Almond milk, but if you try it, let me know.
The end taste was caramelly with notes of coconut-y toasted marshmallow. Really fabulous. Different than conventional marshmallows, but in a good way. Makes a good 75-100 caramels depending on how you slice it.
Other ideas: enrobing in chocolate is always nice. Lavender buds add a nice aromatic kick as well...
2 cups (16 oz) coconut milk
2 cups sugar
4/5 cup margarine (I like earth balance). Note: if you're going to use smart balance use 1 full cup.
tsp of salt (only if using unsalted margarine)
1 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Fleur de Sel for sprinkling.
1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment and grease the parchment with some oil or margarine.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat combine the coconut milk, sugar, margarine, corn syrup, and (optional) salt. Insert a candy thermometer to check temperature.
3. Bring to a boil and then to 245 degrees (soft ball state). This may take a while (30 minutes or so). Stir frequently.
4. Pour into parchment lined pan and sprinkle liberally with fleur de sel (make sure to get the edges and corners!).
5. Allow to set overnight and then cut into chunks using kitchen sheers or a good knife. Wrap in wax paper and enjoy!