Ah caramel. You keep me on my toes. You sticky, delicious beast, you.
This recipes comes from The Urban Poser, who is a crazily brilliant paleo baker and if you don’t know about her, I suggest you get acquainted. She’s got a cookbook coming out that I both supported in her kickstarter and have had preordered for months. I’m paying money. For a cookbook. This is a big deal.
Caramel, in my admittedly limited experience, is not a complicated thing to make, but it’s not easy. Simple? Yes. Easy? No.
But first, let’s talk a bit about BPA-free stuff and it’s replacement, BPS.
“BPA is the starting material for making polycarbonate plastics. Any leftover BPA that is not consumed in the reaction used to make a plastic container can leach into its contents. From there it can enter the body. BPS was a favored replacement because it was thought to be more resistant to leaching. If people consumed less of the chemical, the idea went, it would not cause any or only minimal harm.
Yet BPS is getting out. Nearly 81 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPS in their urine. And once it enters the body it can affect cells in ways that parallel BPA. A 2013 study by Cheryl Watson at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that even picomolar concentrations (less than one part per trillion) of BPS can disrupt a cell’s normal functioning, which could potentially lead to metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, asthma, birth defects or even cancer. “[Manufacturers] put ‘BPA-free’ on the label, which is true. The thing they neglected to tell you is that what they’ve substituted for BPA has not been tested for the same kinds of problems that BPA has been shown to cause. That’s a little bit sneaky,” Watson says.”
I don’t actually know if the same for plastics goes for cans. Regardless, I’m still opting for the Natural Value coconut milk because it is guar gum free but if they start selling gum-free coconut milk in glass jars, I will jump on that crazy fast.
Those are some scary monsters.
AND NOW, BACK TO THE CARAMEL:
If you’re going to make it, which you should (I mean, it’s sticky and sweet and delicious.) I highly recommend a splatter screen. You’ll see why in the episode.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (about 1½ cups), I used guar gum-free Natural Value
- ½ cup mild flavored honey
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 rounded tablespoon palm shortening
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a small-medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring the coconut milk, honey and salt to a boil over medium high heat, being sure that they are well combined. Reduce to a medium heat, and let the mixture boil down for about 35-40 (or 60) minutes.
- Add the palm shortening and vanilla, stirring it in till well incorporated. Continue cooking for another 5-25 minutes or as long as needed until it is a deep caramel color. Don’t rush the process, like I did and let your enthusiasm trick you into thinking that a deep caramel color is a light caramel color. Because it's not. Stir often toward the end.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and let cool for 5-10 minutes then stir vigorously until it’s creamy, shiny and smooth.
- Eat it with a spoon or drizzle on top of your favorite desserts. Because you can.
Music by Spirit Kid. Check them out.
Monster artwork by Conor FitzGerald. Check him out.
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Filed in: Desserts