So my pal Melissa, from Buttercream Couture just finished up and amazing 6-week series all about CARAMEL. The recipes range from suuuuper simple to fancy shmancy- but she explains it all in such a way that even a new candy-maker should have luck! Sweet, tasty luck.
After reading her post on caramel candies I was craving them madly for over a week. But, since me and dairy have been in a lover’s spat for the past 3 years (a spat that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon- heck, I’ll be honest, I got served divorce papers from that stupid cow… heh… Get it?) I thought these candies would be out of my reach! So in an attempt to satisfy my craving, I made her dairy-free version of caramel sauce (which is tested and true) and I stuck it in the freezer hoping that it would emulate the candies. Well, it was darn freaking delicious, but it wasn’t caramel candy 😦
I finally decided that I would devote an hour to at least attempting a dairy-free version. Heck, even if it didn’t turn out, I was sure I’d wind up with something worthy to be eaten with a spoon from the pot, right?!
Now, usually I am super gung-ho to convert anything into a delicious allergy-sensitive alternative, but I was intimidated because this involved candy. And fat. Sugar, and candy thermometers- Alchemy! I thought it would be pointless to mess around-especially because the amount of dairy in the original recipe is… huge. And, sure, that translates into a whole lotta delish- but It’s a lot easier to make something dairy-free if there isn’t much…dairy in it. Go figure.
Well, I got to it and I was sooooo pleasantly surprised when my attempt worked!!!!!
I made a whole lotta caramel!!!! And apart from having a bit of a coconutty flavor (YUM!), it was really comparable to the creamy, buttery caramel candies I had missed! The only things I changed from her awesome recipe was that I swapped the butter for vegan margarine, and the 2 different milks for canned coconut milk!
As you can see they turned out pretty great. You HAVE to check out her post to see more details on all the great things you can do with this versatile recipe! One of the things she made was a lil something she called ‘tortoises’ hehehe- ya know, caramel, pecans and chocolate? Apparently people can get pretty technical about these things… something like if the caramel is on the bottom then technically it’s called a ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’- not a ‘Turtle’. I think ‘Tortoise’ was pretty good.
Anyways these things looked so amazing I knew I had to make some! Unfortunately, my baking shelf in my pantry was filled with things like water chestnuts, squid in ink sauce, and mostly cobwebs. So I had to get inventive. Since we have a fire pit in our new back yard, we have a steady supply of smore ingredients going on. So I placed pieces of graham cracker on top of little rounds of greased parchment paper in a muffin tin. Then I ripped a marshmallow in half and squished that on top of the crackers. I got this alll prepped before I started my caramel cooking process, so I could be ready to dump a couple tablespoons of the just-done super-hot goodness over the marshmallows. After the caramel set, I poured a tablespoon of melted, dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate over top, and in the end…. I created….
I’d like to introduce you to…
The Sweet Smorgia Brown. Heh heh heh heh heh. Hehehehehehehe. I can’t tell if that name is genius, or just a really bad mom-ism.
Now I have to share with you the most impressive caramel-creation that Melissa created. Here is an awesome photo (taken by the amazing Frances Eden) of her delicious chocolate-dipped caramel marshmallow escargot:
Impressive hey?? I have never seen anything like this. And since I had a bit of caramel candy left, I thought I’d give these a try…
No. Not at all.
Of course, I didn’t follow her instructions AT ALL, but I promise you, I am going to make these escargot the PROPER way. And I’m gonna make em pretty!
Well thanks, Melissa, for letting me experiment with your recipes! They really are irresistible and easy to do (if you don’t get all “independent woman” like I did with that snail!)
*UPDATE* check out my 2nd Snail attempt here. 😉
So don’t forget to check out her whole caramel series HERE! You wont regret it 😉
OH! I almost forgot to share my exciting news! My Etsy shop is finally up and running! Take a look-see here. Go shopping, or at least be entertained by some of the funny descriptions 😉
I just put my first order in the mail! So exciting!!!
Well, happy mail-mailing and snail-trailing!
Okay fine, let’s see that snail fail one more time:
ahahahaa! snail attempt lololol!
Lol! The snail is funny. I attempted your spiders but mine looked more like octopuses/octopii?
haahah octopuses are sweet too!
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What could I use instead of margarine? would coconut oil work? The recipe in the ‘caramel candies’ hyperlink is the recipe you adapted yeah? use coconut milk in place of both the milk and the cream? 1 cup milk 2 cup cream so 3 cups coconut milk? Sorry for all the questions 😛
Hi Amy! I haven’t tried oils- I wonder if they would be too soft? It’s worth a try tho, because the worst that could happen would be that you wind up with delicious caramel sauce instead of caramel candies. And yes I did replace the cream and milk like that 🙂 Good luck!
I wonder if Palm Shortening would work. It works well as a butter replacement in other recipes that have a thicker consistency. Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration!
If you give it a try let me know the results!