SILKY SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE & STICKY TOFFEE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
RAW | VEGAN | WFPB | REFINED SUGAR-FREE | GLUTEN-FREE | EASY
Remember the Pear Spice Muffins from the last post? Well, they are delicious. They taste like autumn. They disappear very quickly when I make them just as they are. There are days, though, when I crave something extra sweet - ooey-gooey and rich kind of sweet. Caramel sauce kind of sweet, to pour over these delish muffins. Thankfully, my goal of eating more produce and less junk food doesn't mean having to turn away from an ooey-gooey sweet treat like caramel sauce. Especially when that caramel sauce is made of only fruit, nutmeg, sea salt, and vanilla. (For an "adult version" we have a bourbon option, too.!) This caramel sauce recipe is super easy, with no actual cooking required!
I have two delicious versions for you. Both caramels have a bite of salt, accentuated by finishing with a sprinkle of pink or sea salt. Both have a smoky caramel-like flavor, brought forward with nutmeg. The differences have to do with the texture you prefer, how you would like to apply the caramel, your mood, and your mixing method.
SILKY SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
The silky caramel has the smooth, creamy appearance of a classic caramel sauce, yet is very light. The flavor and texture makes an appearance and then almost seems to evaporate in the mouth. Made using a high speed blender with more of the date soaking liquid, it makes a bigger batch than the sticky toffee version - a little less than 2 cups. That light texture makes it very easy to stir into drinks or oatmeal, providing a kiss of that sweet and salty flavor in each sip or bite.
The Silky Salted Caramel Sauce is pictured below on Pear Spice Muffins, providing a soft, sweet topping. When using either of the salted caramels, a key to
STICKY TOFFEE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
While this may not be as sticky as traditionally-made caramel sauce, let's remember that there is no butter or processed sugar - or cooking for that matter - in this recipe to make it extra thick, heavy, and sticky. Instead, I tried to create the essence of that caramel sauce in a more nutritious way. That said, the texture and flavor brings to mind lovely sticky toffee pudding for me. So the name sticks, so to speak. A food processor is used instead of a blender for the Sticky Toffee version of this salted caramel sauce, allowing bits of caramel-ly dates to remain throughout. There's less water in this version, so it's more flavorful and extra rich. This caramel lingers in the mouth, and is delicious simply by the spoonful. This version would be the choice if you're looking for something more like ribbons and chunks of caramel when you stir it into food and drink. Also great as a frosting or dip.
WHERE TO START
The first step of making either version is soaking the dates in water. Once soaked, the whole jar (below, left) is poured into a blender for Classic Creamy Caramel. For Sticky Toffee Caramel, the dates are strained and placed in the bowl of a food processor while the soaking liquid is preserved to add by the tablespoon (below right).
CARAMEL AS FRUIT DIP
A favorite way to use either caramel is as a fruit or bread dip. Pictured below is the Sticky Toffee Salted Caramel Sauce being used this way.
CARAMEL ON OATMEAL
Have you ever tried caramel on oatmeal before? No? Get that oatmeal cooking and those dates soaked! You don't know what you've been missing. We're talking next-level oatmeal here.
RAW VEGAN CARAMEL SAUCE, TWO WAYS
SILKY SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE: Makes a bit under 2 cups (16 oz container)
STICKY TOFFEE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE: Makes a bit over 1 cup (8 oz container)
SOAK TIME: At least one hour
PREP/BLEND TIME: 10 minutes or less for each caramel sauce
PRIMARY TOOLS: Blender and/or food processor