As part of her end-of-year celebration in Spanish class, Queenie volunteered to bring dulce de leche to share with her classmates. Vegan, of course. It was a bold offer, considering we’d never made it before, but I appreciated her confidence in my ability to pull it off and started researching recipes. It quickly became apparent that the key to vegan dulce de leche is to use coconut milk, which makes perfect sense to me as it’s also handy in making vegan flan, ice cream and all sorts of other creamy treats. I found the winning recipe on a blog called Rooted Vegan, and you can find it here:
You start with two cans of full-fat coconut milk, but really you’re only using a can and a half: one full can, and then just the thick cream from the second can (discard or use the liquid from the second can for something else). Whisk in 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar.
When it’s combined, it will be a pretty pale caramel color.
Bring this mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once it begins bubbling, turn the heat down to low.
Keep the mixture at low, stirring often, for about 45 minutes. It will thicken, darken and reduce in volume. I found it to be a slow and gentle process rather than a dramatic one. Keep stirring and scraping down the sides.
At the 45-minute mark (assuming your concoction looks about like the above photo), mix in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt. Remove from the heat and let it cool. The mixture will continue to thicken and get more fabulous as it cools. Once it’s at room temperature, put it in a storage vessel and pop it into the ‘fridge. It will save for a couple of weeks if you have more will power than I do.
It is SOOOOOOO good. While it’s quite pleasing to eat with a spoon, it would, of course, be excellent poured on just about anything – ice cream, cookies, into coffee… the possibilities are endless.