(Salted Caramel & Chocolate tarts - vegan - recipe in post)
Dulce De Leche without the dairy? You heard me.
I'd been playing around with the idea for a while, and it was about time I did more than just think about it. With only two ingredients, the reality is just as good as what I'd imagined. Sweet, rich, and with a hint of... coconut? Yes.
Coconut is the key. Swapping coconut cream for milk was the spark of inspiration for this, and it worked perfectly. Spreadable, spoonable, and completely delectable. A thick and creamy caramel sauce that's easy to make, and sure to please.
I chose to use mine in these salted caramel and chocolate tartlets, inspired by Gooseberry Mooseberry's vegan short-crust recipe, but the caramel sauce could be used in most any application. It would be fabulous as a dip for crisp apple slices, or poured onto coconut ice cream, or spooned over... you know, you're taste buds.
(You can find my recipe for gluten-free flour here)
I was pretty determined to make these tarts not only vegan, but gluten-free... after much trial and error, and five (yes, five) batches of tart shells in the trash, I managed to make one that held up for the photographs... but wasn't particularly tasty. The gluten-free flour simply wouldn't hold together in such a delicate application as this, and needless to say, I wasn't really up for more experimenting. If you'd like to make the tarts, you can use virtually any crust recipe you like. If you aren't concerned about gluten-free, I do recommend Gooseberry Mooseberry's vegan short-crust - just be sure to use the proper flour.
Dulce De Coco-Leche
(Vegan, makes about 1 cup)
1 1/2 (15oz) cans coconut milk, unsweetened, full fat
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP vegan dark brown sugar
pinch of salt (optional)
In medium sauce pan, add one can of coconut milk and the fat off the top of a second can. This is easiest done if the can is chilled in the fridge for a bit first, as the fat will solidify and separate from the liquid. Spoon the fat off the liquid and into the pot - discard the liquid, or refrigerate for later use.
Add the brown sugar, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Once the mixture begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring frequently (every thirty seconds to a minute) until the sauce is very thick and reduced by more than half. Be sure to scrap the sides and bottom of the pan as you stir.
Add a pinch of salt if desired.
Remove from heat, and optionally pour through a fine mesh sieve to smooth out any lumps. Use immediately, or store in a jar or air-tight container for up to a couple of weeks.
For the tarts:
(Vegan, makes four 4inch tarts)
1/2 batch vegan tart crust
1 batch dulce de coco-leche
8 oz. vegan dark chocolate chips, melted
pinch of sea salt for garnish, optional
pinch of shredded coconut for garnish, optional
Make the crust, press into tart pans, and pre-bake until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Fill shells with 2-3 TBSP of warm dulce de leche, and tap gently to level it out. Top each with 1-2 TBSP melted vegan chocolate, tipping the tarts to spread the chocolate evenly. Refrigerate 10-20 minutes, or until fully set. Can be stored in the fridge for up to several days in advance. Remove from the tart molds, and optionally garnish with a small sprinkle of sea salt or shredded coconut.