Monday, July 15, 2013

Salted Caramel Brownies with Coconut Whipped Cream

So, salted caramel everything has been quite the trend, and for good reason. The crunchy bits of rock salt combined with super sweet and buttery caramel is really amazing.

But did you know you could make caramel without cream or butter?  Allow me to introduce you to vegan caramel sauce, made with the ever so popular and versatile coconut milk.

...and while we are at it, coconut milk whipped cream, too!!

I made some brownies (from a box, womp, womp...), and then topped them with this homemade and vegan salted caramel sauce.

Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce
Adapted from Eff Yeah, It's Vegan (Amazing name for a blog, by the way!)

+ 1 can full fat coconut milk (preferably one that has been in the fridge for several hours, or overnight is best.  
   Do not shake up the contents)

+ 3/4 cup brown sugar  (dark if you have it, but light works fine, too)

+ 1 tsp vanilla extract

+ 1tsp sea salt  (pink himalayan salt is THE best - read more here to find out why...and then buy some!)
   (Even regular grocery stores are carrying it now, in a grinder. Trader Joe's also has one)

Separate the thicker cream on the top from the coconut water on the bottom in a can of full fat coconut milk.  It helps to put the unopened can in the fridge for several hours prior, to help separate the two.

Add to cream to a small saucepan set to medium-low heat, and whisk in the brown sugar.
Cook on medium-low for 20-25 minutes, stirring very often. It should be boiling, but not so much that it boils up and over the pan.

When it turns into a thick, caramel sauce, remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and salt.
Pour into a heatproof container to cool and thicken.

To serve, you can either pour the caramel sauce over the entire pan of freshly baked brownies, poking holes in the brownies, so the sauce seeps in.
Or, cut and plate brownies, and top each square with a large spoonful of caramel sauce.

Now, we have the coconut whipped cream!

Coconut Whipped Cream
*I might double this recipe to serve with a whole pan of brownies

+ 1 can of full fat coconut milk (one that has been in the fridge for several hours, or overnight is 
       best.  Do not shake up the contents)
+ 1 Tbsp organic, pure maple syrup
+ 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Carefully scoop out the coconut cream that has floated to the top of the chilled can.
Scoop into a chilled glass or metal bowl, and whip for 1.5 - 2 minutes until thick and creamy.
Add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Best served right away. You can refrigerate leftovers, but it does turn to more of a solid, so just give it another whip around the mixing bowl before serving leftovers.

I am living up this salted caramel trend, for sure!
So There.