The other day when we were at the store both of my kids asked for those little packages of apples with caramel and I said no because of all the dairy and unhealthy ingredients. I was feeling bad ’cause they both wanted them so bad, but then when we were at the health food store I saw this can of dairy free sweetened condensed milk and got super excited:
I remembered that you can make caramel from boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk long enough for a carmalizing to occur and was SO hoping that it would work with this dairy free and vegan version so I bought some and gave it a try. It wasn’t until after I came home and started looking up recipes on how to do it that I discovered that it’s not actually caramel when you make it this way but it’s called Dulce de Leche. However, there’s not much difference.
Dulce de Leche basically just has a thinner, more sauce-like consistency than caramel but it still has that great caramel flavor that me and the fam just LOVE! I don’t think the dairy free version gets as thick as the cow’s milk version, but other than that we absolutely LOVED it. In fact, I found both of my kids licking their bowls (and maybe me to!) and asking for more 🙂
While I still love and make my original Caramel Sauce Recipe I was excited to try something new and am now happy to have 2 recipes for caramel! Which do I like better you say? It’s hard to pick since there are pro’s and con’s to each recipe so here’s the rundown:
1) If I had to pick totally off of taste I would pick the Dulce de Leche. Since it’s made with white cane sugar that is then caramelized, it has a truer caramel taste as opposed to using coconut palm sugar and non-dairy butter to achieve a caramelized taste. Plus, it only has one ingredient. If you can boil water, you can make this!
2) My Caramel Sauce Recipe is Paleo compliant since it doesn’t use refined sugar.
3) My Caramel Sauce Recipe is also a lot faster to make. If you don’t care about it thickening up, it can be ready in 10 minutes whereas the Dulce de Leche takes over 3 hours.
4) The Dulce de Leche would not work in recipes calling for caramel since it is too thin and can even be hard to dip, but would work perfect drizzled over dessert.
What about you, do you think you will try it? Do you prefer Dulce de Leche or caramel? Let me know what you think!
Pin for later:
*Since making this I found out you can do this in the crock pot – WHAT, that’s awesome!?! Next time I will try THIS CROCKPOT METHOD with the dairy free condensed milk.
- 1 Can Nature's Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (or as many as you would like)
- Place the can or cans into a large pot and cover with about 1 inch of water.
- Bring to a boil, then immediately turn down to Medium Low or Low until you have a nice, gentle simmer.
- Let simmer 3 to 3½ hours.
- *Important step* Top off the water as it simmers to keep the water level an inch over the cans.
- Halfway through the simmering processes, very carefully turn over the cans with tongs.
- After the simmering time, carefully remove the cans with tongs and allow to cool before opening. DO NOT open cans when they are hot, there is a potential for explosion!
- Can be stored in a sealed mason jar in the fridge for up to a month.