- 500g Dates (Medjool are perfect for their natural Caramel flavour, others are fine though but make sure they are pitted).
- 225g Milk of Choice (Soy, Oat, Coconut or Water works fine)
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Blender (Such as a hand, or machine)
- For a set Caramel (such as to use within baking) use 125g of Milk, and 150g Coconut Oil. The Coconut oil remains firm at room temperature.
- Flavours can be added whilst blending if you want to enhance/alter the caramel, for example peanut butter, vanilla extract. Just be mindful of preferred consistency.
On a clean chopping board, prepare the dates. First remove all stones if they are not pitted and then chop roughly.
Next bring to just below a boil, the fluid of choice. (For the thick set caramel, first gently melt the coconut oil then combine with the remaining fluid).
Pour in the dates. After a minute turn the heat to low and stir for at least five minutes to break down the dates further. Set aside to cool.
Once sufficiently cool, stick or machine blend the dates until a thick consistent caramel is achieved. At this point you can add in more fluid if preferred for a more runny finish. If you like a coarser consistency, process the dates less.
(If you opted for the set caramel, it is important to only stop blending once the coconut oil has combined (emulsified) with the dates. This has occurred when the date paste looks glossy and is not leaking any coconut oil).
Whilst blending, it is your chance to add in any flavourings you may like, if any. At the very least, a pinch of salt goes a long way. For an interesting twist, I would recommend a teaspoon of white miso which brings both salt, and a more complex flavour. Other syrups are also possible, such as Golden syrup (Again being mindful of my preferred consistency, I wouldn’t exceed 75g of additions).
Once the desired texture is achieved, simply pour into a dish or jar and allow to cool. It will last for 5 days refrigerated.
There are many ways to use this ‘caramel’. Thicker consistencies are particular good rolled in nuts, seeds and desiccated coconut to create vegan energy balls, or to fill sweet bakes such as millionaire shortbreads. If you have made a thinner caramel it is almost more versatile, pairing perfectly with a slice of bread, porridge, drizzled over ice cream or even stirred into savoury, spiced grain dishes.