I used to love making my own dulce de leche – but then going vegan, what does one use in place of sweetened condensed milk? To be completely honest, I got lazy and was unconcerned with a vegan sub for condensed milk. Well, I had also made it with cow’s milk and sugar in a double boiler..which didn’t work well when I tried to make it using almond milk (before I discovered MimicCreme or hemp milk, and they were never tested). I stumbled across a praline recipe, and when I tried to make them, they didn’t set up like a praline would…however, they were the perfect dulce de leche/creamy caramel consistency! So I tinkered with the recipe a bit and here is my vegan version of dulce de leche, which in theory was supposed to be pralines..crazy how serendipity works! 🙂 This recipe makes the perfect amount for topping about 2.5 dozen small cookies. I also added in about 1/2 C chopped pecans since it was supposed to be pralines…just ignore them in the pictures..
Ingredients: *recipe can be doubled successfully if you want yummy extra sauce to top ice cream or any other dessert – or to just have on hand in case of emergency!
1/2 C hemp milk (or oat or almond, but these pics were taken when making with hemp milk)
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 C brown sugar
2 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter
1 TBSP brown rice syrup
1 TBSP bourbon *optional
pinch of salt
2 tsp confectioner’s sugar
1. Place hemp milk, cornstarch, sugar, vegan butter, brown rice syrup and bourbon (if using) in a small stainless steel pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Once it begins to simmer, turn down the heat to keep it simmering but so that it’s not to risky of boiling over..but still keep an eye and stir.
2. Cook gently for 15 minutes, stir in the pinch of salt and the confectioner’s sugar. Continue to cook gently until the mixture thickens enough so that a spoonful dropped on piece of parchment holds together, about an additional 15 to 20 minutes (so it’s a total of 30-40 minutes). You know you’ll be getting close when you can run a spoon through it and it doesn’t run back together immediately.
It will need to come to room temperature before it’s looking like caramel, but trust me – it’s much easier to top desserts with a warm caramel than a room temperature or chilled one.
*Store in the fridge, but warm on the stove-top before using – thus making it easier pouring onto yummy things like vanilla ice cream or cookies! 🙂
Who wants to see an example of the greatness that can be used with this caramel? Check this action…and not to fear, this recipe is coming soon….
And as you can see the caramel had about 5 or 10 minutes to set by the time I got to snap the pic after topping it. It doesn’t take long to set up at room temp once removed from heat.