Easy Vegan Caramel

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Caramel brings out the fat kid in me. It makes me want to cover everything in the sticky- sweet substance and lick the remnants off my fingers.

 Most people don’t know that carmel, or caramel, depending on your location, is made from cream, butter and sugar. That’s it. It’s so delicious because it’s made form some of the most addictive food substances on the planet. Mix it with chocolate ala anything dessert with the word “turtle” and my pupils dilate like a junkie on payday.

 

In fact, I often joke that the science to making caramel reminds me of a drug lab, and it can be just as dangerous sometimes. Certain variables will even cause the sugar to crystalize and rise to the top of the sanguine goo, I like to call them caramel crack rocks.

 

It’s very important while making caramel to have a bowl of ice water nearby, as sometimes it like to splatter molten sugar. In which case, dunk it in the ice water! For extra safety try wearing goggles or glasses, just in case. 

 

You must fear the caramel to enjoy the caramel.

 

Also, don’t burn it either. Constantly stir that bad mutha-fu……..

 

Shut Yo Mouth!

 

 

Vegan Caramel Sauce

 

-1 Can of full fat coconut milk, the light stuff does not apply. Refrigerate for 2 hours to make the cream separate to the top, skim off ½ cup cream and disregard the rest of the watery stuff. Make soup with it, make oatmeal with it, and take a bath in it. JUST DON’T PUT IT IN THE CARMEL!

 

-1 cup granulated sugar

 

-1/4 tsp  Himalayan sea salt, or ¾ tsp for salted caramel.  Try using fun infused salts like hickory smoke or chilli sea salt for a fun twist

 

 

Place the sugar and the salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Carmel takes patience.

 

I said PATIENCE!

 

Keep stirring until all the clumps have dissolved and the mixture is about 340 degrees. Once it’s dissolved CAREFULLY add the coconut cream 1 OR 2 TABLESPOONS AT A TIME.

 

Keep stirring. If it splatters and hits you, immediately dunk the body part in ice water.

 

Keep stirring. It will start to bubble and will start to solidify, so KEEP STIRRING!

 

Once all the clumps are gone, you got caramel! Transfer to a heat proof container and keep it in the fridge…. If it lasts that long.Image

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Baking Without the Eggs, Milk and Buttah

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vegan

These helpful tidbits were taken from the post punk kitchen.

Baking without eggs, milk and buttah

Get rid of the eggs
Replacing eggs is the most challenging aspects of vegan baking. Those suckers bind, they leaven and they give structure to our baked goods. However, like a bad boyfriend, they can be replaced, and with pleasing results. Here some info on replacements I have tried.

Flax Seeds
How to use it:
1 Tablespoon flax seeds plus 3 Tablespoons water replaces one egg. Finely grind 1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds in a blender or coffee grinder, or use 2 1/2 tablespoons pre-ground flaxseeds. Transfer to a bowl and beat in 3 tablespoons of water using a whisk or fork. It will become very gooey and gelatinous, much like an egg white. In some recipes, you can leave the ground flax in the blender and add the other wet ingredients to it, thus saving you the extra step of the bowl.

When it works best:
Flax seeds have a distinct earthy granola taste. It tastes best and works very well in things like pancakes, and whole grain items, such as bran muffins and corn muffins. It is perfect for oatmeal cookies, and the texture works for cookies in general, although the taste may be too pronounced for some. Chocolate cake-y recipes have mixed results, I would recommend only using one portion flax-egg in those, because the taste can be overpowering.

Tips:
Always store ground flaxseeds in the freezer because they are highly perishable. This mixture is not only an excellent replacement for eggs, it also contributes vital omega-3 fatty acids.

Where to get it:
Health food stores

Silken Tofu
How to use it:
1/4 cup blended silken tofu = 1 egg. Whiz in a blender until completely smooth and creamy, leaving no graininess or chunks. You will want to add other wet ingredients to this mixture to get it to blend properly. I recommend vacuum packed extra firm silken tofu, such as Mori-Nu.

When it works best:
Dense cakes and brownies, and in smaller quantites for lighter cakes and fluffy things (if the recipe calls for 3 eggs only use 2 “tofu” eggs”). Whizzed tofu leaves virtually no taste, so it is an excellent replacer in cake recipes. In cookie recipes, it may make the cookie more cake-y and fluffy than anticipated, add 1 teaspoon of starch to the recipe (such as arrowroot or corn starch) to combat that. It may make pancakes a little heavy, so it is not recommended as a quick replacement for eggs in pancakes, although it could work well with a little experimentation.

Where to get it:
Health food store shelves, and in some supermarkets.

Ener-G Egg Replacer
How to use it:
1 1/2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons water mixed well = 1 egg
Many people swear by this egg replacer. I think it is good to use in a pinch, in all baking that requires a few eggs. However, I can definitely taste it in cakes and cookies (tastes chalk-y), and I’m not crazy about the dense texture it turns out.

When it works best:
It seems to work best in cookies, or things that are supposed to be a little crispy.

Where to get it:
Health food stores, some supermarkets in the baking or ethnic food section

Bananas
How to use it:
1/2 banana blended until smooth or mashed well= 1 egg.
Bananas work wonders as an egg replacer in baking, which is the reason many banana bread recipes don’t require eggs. They hold the air bubbles well, make things nice and moist, and impart a nice flavor. However, you don’t want everything tasting like banana, so use in things where the taste won’t be intrusive. I’ve also noticed that baked goods using banana brown very nicely.

When it works best:
Quick breads, muffins, cakes, pancakes

Tip: Make sure bananas are nice and ripe and have started to brown.

Where to get it:
Just kidding, I think you can figure this one out.

Soy yogurt
How to use it:
1/4 cup soy yogurt = 1 egg.
Soy yogurt works a lot like whizzed tofu as an egg replacer. It makes things moist and yummy.

When it works best:
Quick breads, muffins, cakes

Where to get it:
Health food stores, yuppyish supermarkets

Lose the milk
This is a no-brainer. Use soy, rice or almond milk. Butter milk? Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to your milk and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

It’s like buttah…
Instead of butter try unsalted margarine or go ahead and use salted but reduce the amount of salt in the recipe. Lose 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 stick of butter. But try to use the non-hydrogented kind, I dunno’, for your health?

My favorite thing to use instead of butter is canola oil, but you can use any vegetable oil, just reduce the amount. If a recipe calls for one stick of butter, which is a half cup, I use 1/3 cup of oil.

You can also try prune puree which will also obviously reduce the amount of fat. To use, puree 1/2 cup of pitted prunes with 1/4 cup of water. You will want to reduce the amount used, or the final product may be too moist. If the recipe calls for a half cup use 1/3 cup instead. You may also want to add a little oil, maybe a tablespoon per cup of fat needed, because a little fat goes a long way in taste and texture.