“The best vegan caramel” – a bold statement, I know. This recipe combines everything I have learnt through making vegan caramels in the past.
Whilst I do adore coconut flavoured vegan caramel (such as the one made by OSU coconut), sometimes I want a caramel more similar to the flavour of the non-vegan caramels I used to love. For example I was using this caramel to make filled cake pops and make a sponge cake filling and I wanted the vanilla and caramel to be the main flavours!
I have seen a lot of ‘raw’ date caramel recipes floating around the internet but they all use a huge quantity of dates which are, quite frankly, expensive (the medjoul variety of dates, which are the best for these recipes, are often quite dear). You may look at the recipe below and roll your eyes at the addition of a few dates, I would just like to point out they do (kind of) count as one of your 5 a day… Regardless, the dates really are the game changer in this recipe. The caramel without the dates is amazing, the dates take it to a whole new level. They really thicken the caramel and make it more luxurious and toffee flavoured. If you don’t believe me, then try the caramel before and after the addition of the dates to see for yourself.
This caramel is perfect for cakes, drizzled on soy ice cream, or just eaten with a spoon out of the jar…
It also freezes really well, so in the unlikely event you don’t manage to find an immediate use for it, pop it into a reusable container or bag and sling it in the freezer for a stressful day when you are in need of a treat.
- 8 Medjoul Dates
- 6 tbsp of almond milk (or any other dairy free milk)
- 8 tbsp of dairy free butter (I used block stork)
- 200g soft brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste/vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes to plump them up and remove the stones.
- Blend the dates in a food processor/blender or with a stick blender with the 2 tbsp of almond milk (feel free to add more if necessary but this does need to be as thick as possible). As there is very little mixture I found it quite difficult to blend but if you blend it a little and then shake it around a little, it helps a lot!
- Blend the dates as much as possible and then using a metal spoon push the date/milk mixture through a sieve. This will produce a thick, sticky date paste, scrape this off the bottom of the sieve into a bowl and keep it to one side.
- Add the dairy free butter, soft brown sugar, salt and remaining 4 tbsp of almond milk to a pan.
- Heat on low until the ingredients combine, gently stir the mix throughout the heating process.
- Heat for about 10 minutes to allow some of the water to evaporate and for the mix to thicken noticeably to a single cream consistency.
- Take off the heat and whisk in the dates.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes and add in the vanilla.
- Make sure everything is fully incorporated and set aside in a bowl to cool, use for anything your heart desires!
Some potential uses –
Vegan ice cream topping, cake filling/topping, cake pop filling, mixed with buttercream for caramel frosting, filling for chocolates, donut glaze, add spoons of the frozen caramel to an unbaked brownie pan for gooey caramel brownies.