So it’s recently come to my attention that this blog here has just turned two years old. All I can say is, wow. Really shows that even if you’re a ninety-year-old hag like me, you can still learn some new tricks and find new hobbies, perhaps even hobbies that would’ve been physically impossible to carry out in the good ol’ days of my youth and the vast majority of my adulthood, given that the internet didn’t, um, exist.
But I don’t do this for that kind of tangible reward. I do this because it’s pretty frickin satisfying to spend hours in the kitchen baking some complex concoction, tweaking recipes and fiddling with ingredients and flavors and whatever, and then be able to share it with the entire world at the click of a button. And once it’s out there, it’s there forever. The internet’s permanence doesn’t scare me—in fact, I find it inspiring. I like that I can go back a year, two years and look at all the shit I’ve baked and remember how delicious that stack of pancakes or that cookie was, and even get some insight as to my state of mind at the time, judging by the blather posted alongside the recipe. I like that I can see how I’ve gotten better at making cakes over time, progressing from shit like this
|What. The. Fuck.|
to slightly better shit like this.
I reckon I wouldn’t have improved my photography (still shitty, but at least now it’s not vomit-inducing like back in the day) or baking skills nearly as much if it wasn’t for this blog. This blog has given me direction and motivation. You don’t understand how fucking giddy I get at each lovely little comment. It’s like Christmas, opening up my email to find some kind words from a fellow blogger or an anonymous reader attached to a post that I wrote. And because I want to keep getting those little ego-stoking nuggets, I have a sense of direction in the kitchen. I don’t just want to make the same brownie recipe or the same chocolate chip cookie recipe; I want to try something new and original, something that will (hopefully) knock my readers’ socks off, or at least make them hungry. So I’ve broadened my baking horizons, tried things that I might not have tried otherwise.
Okay. So what’s the point of all this?
I just want to say thank you. For sticking with me over these past two years and putting up with my shenanigans.
(I also kind of want to thank myself for sticking with this thing and not giving up after two months like I do everything else, but that would be kind of narcissistic,* would it not?)
But enough sappy bullshit. Let’s talk about caramel.
|I could eat this shit with a spoon. And I do.|
I already have a recipe for bourbon caramel on this site, but I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for bourbon-less classic vanilla caramel for quite a while. So long, in fact, that I’ve forgotten where I got the original recipe (a blog, I think) and simply know it as that recipe I have saved in my files but haven’t posted because how the hell am I supposed to take pictures of caramel?
Well, here you are. And at least I tried taking pictures.
|The caramel isn't really that dark in real life. It's just the lighting.|
This caramel is my favorite for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it’s so foolproof. I used to have a lot of trouble with caramel, until I tried the “wet” method of making caramel, which uses water. For some reason, that makes it easier to get your sugar all nice and melted without turning into rock-hard chunks (i.e. crystallizing). The addition of corn syrup may help with that too. I really don’t know why. All I know is that it works.
The original recipe called for just milk, I believe, but I’ve added a bit of margarine here too for some extra gooiness, making this perfect for drizzling on a cake. Feel free to substitute 2 tablespoons extra coconut milk if you want a thinner sauce.
(Also, please note that the amount in the jar pictured is a double recipe. I needed a lot of caramel for a certain cake which you may be seeing in the future, so I made extra, but the recipe below usually makes enough for whatever purpose you may have in mind.)
Homemade vegan caramel sauce
200 grams • granulated sugar • 1 cup
60 grams • water • 1/4 cup
11 grams • light corn syrup • 1 1/2 teaspoons
90 grams • full-fat coconut milk, room temperature • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
28 grams • vegan butter, room temperature • 2 tablespoons
4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon
1 gram • fleur de sel • 1/4 teaspoon
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil over high heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, but do not stir. After about six minutes, an amber caramel will form; remove from heat and drizzle in milk slowly while stirring. Stir in vegan butter until incorporated.
Remove from heat and mix in salt and vanilla. Transfer caramel to a bowl. Let cool completely before using.
|So perfect. So pure.|
*Blogger? Narcissistic? Well I never.
For some more caramel-licious recipes, check out these links.
Caramel apple pancakes. A good excuse to eat caramel for breakfast.
Salty sweet pecan pie bars with bourbon caramel. These bars are INSANE.
“Better than sex” cake. *giggles*