I’ve dreamt about sharing a recipe for salted caramel sauce ever since this blog was just an idea (I won’t mention how long that idea took to come to fruition). It’s time dear reader. It’s time you got acquainted with salted caramel. I’m sure you’ve tasted it at any number of establishments. Good cafes are using it, respectable patisseries can’t get enough of it, and it’s often lurking on the final page of restaurant dessert menus. One of my favourite salted caramel experiences, and there have been many, is a chocolate and salted caramel tart at Black star pastry – it’s truly divine.
I’m taking my standard salted caramel recipe and giving it a twist, a slightly exotic twist, a coconut flavoured twist. Yes this recipe calls for coconut cream.
Now, what might you eat this exotic tasting, sweet yet salty, caramel flavoured toffee sauce with? Hmmm, lets see… just for starters, there’s a classic banana split sundae – I might of tried this once or twice before – split a banana, top it with ice cream, smoother it with salted caramel sauce, sprinkle with a fine grating of dark chocolate and a scattering of toasted almonds, but I must warn you – eat slowly to avoid brain freeze.
I don’t use a thermometer to make my caramel sauce. Maybe I’m slightly old school. I like to watch the pot while it boils, and gauge for myself that precise moment the caramel darkens. It’s the moment you must swirl the pan, a little more watching, a final swirl, just as the edges start to look as if the caramel might burn – if you left it a moment longer -that’s the time to pour in the coconut cream.
And once that sauce has cooled, and even had time to thicken in the fridge, you must road test it with a smoothie. A banana salted caramel smoothie. Or if you’re tiring of the whole banana thing, try a date and salted caramel smoothie, whizz it together with ice cold milk, crushed ice and ice cream. Have I successfully persuaded you yet?
Salted caramel coconut sauce
175g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
400ml can coconut cream
Place the sugar, salt and water in a large sauce pan. Bring to the boil stirring gently to dissolve the sugar. Once sugar dissolves, cease stirring. Fill a small bowl with water and using a pastry brush, gently brush the edges of the pan to remove any sugar particles. Allow sugar to boil rapidly.
After about 4-5 minutes the sugar will start to caramelise. This is the point you must trust your instinct. Swirl the pan and keep boiling – you want the caramel to darken enough that you get a rich flavoured sauce, but not darken too much so that the caramel burns. Swirl the pan a final time and when you see that dark golden colour, and it’s covering the entire the pan, quickly add the can of coconut cream – it will bubble madly.
Stir the sauce over the heat till smooth and well combined. Cook the sauce on medium heat for another 2 minutes, turn off the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool place in the fridge to thicken. This sauce will store in the refrigerator, in an air tight container, for up to 2 weeks.
Banana coconut salted caramel smoothie
1 banana, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup cold, full cream milk
3 tbsp (cold) salted caramel sauce
2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream
2 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz till smooth. Serve in a chilled glass and drink loudly through a straw.