“Why on earth are you making these? We already have things to eat!” My husband asked me when, at 9.30pm one Saturday night I started melting chocolate. To be honest, I have no idea. I just knew I wanted to make vegan chocolate caramels. I’d had it on my mind for a while to make caramels – fuelled by the desire to use up the last spoonful of my Miso Tasty miso, and also maybe because I wanted our nanny, who was vegan over Christmas for religious reasons, to be able to enjoy something delicious.
When I initially made these, I figured that the miso would make it salty enough but as I found out, you can never have enough salt in salted caramels! For my second batch, I ended up adding salt into the chocolate, but I also think it would be lovely (and pretty), to stick some flakes of salt onto the chocolate once they’ve hardened; you can use a smear of leftover melted chocolate for this quite easily.
Caramel to spare
This vegan chocolate caramels recipe will leave you with lots of leftover caramel – it’s really tasty heated up and drizzled over ice cream. You can also make a cheesecake base, top with caramel and coat in chocolate.
What you need
I used the Miso Tasty red miso paste, which comes in a generously sized jar, yet disappears fast! I’m also keen to try this with their white miso paste. Whatever miso you use, use a paste – and avoid the powders – I can’t see this being nice.
You’ll also need a chocolate mould. For my caramels I used a couple of silicon moulds as they’re easy to clean and to get the chocolates out from. I bought this set of silicon moulds a few years ago and have used them for chocolates and ice cubes mainly. I even mixed chocolate in with probiotic powder and used the little bear moulds to try and get my children to eat them (they did!)
When blending the ingredients for the caramel, I couldn’t quite get it to work with my Vitamix (I’m sure I’m not using it to its full potential!), so I ended up using my mini food processor (which is an absolute godsend – if there’s a piece of kitchen I swear by, it’s this) and alternated between chopping and grinding until it was smooth. If you’re struggling, you can add a little extra milk.
We only ever have oat milk in our fridge, but I’ve heard that soy milk works well in caramels and I think coconut milk could also be tasty too. However, I feel that oat milk is one of the most neutral nut milks.
If you find you’re struggling to coat the moulds (as I did), I found that by putting a half teaspoonful of chocolate in the bottoms and then swirling it slowly to coat the sides was a good starting point. To make it thicker and to coat the bits I’d missed, I used the ‘wrong’ end of a chopstick like a paintbrush dabbing extra chocolate on. I also used this technique when I was adding the caramel. I think if you have a piping bag (I keep thinking I need to buy one!), this could work really well.
For the caramel
- 12 Medjool dates
- 2 heaped tablespoons of smooth cashew butter
- 1 heaped teaspoon of Miso
- 1/4 cup of milk (I used oat milk)
For the chocolate
- 250g dark chocolate
- 2 pinches of salt
- Soak the dates (de-seeded) in boiled water for 15 minutes.
- Using a bain-marie or in a bowl over boiling water, melt the chocolate and mix in the salt.
- Coat the moulds with a layer of chocolate and leave in the fridge to set.
- For the caramel, drain the dates, then put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Carefully spoon a little of the caramel into each mould leaving a 1-2mm gap at the top.
- Place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Spoon a little chocolate over the caramel, making sure the whole of the chocolate is covered.
- Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours to properly harden.
- Remove from the moulds and enjoy!
I put all the chocolates into a tupperware box and they’ve been steadily disappearing. If you have kids, hide them well. I found that if I put them in the vegetable, they’re safe – the kids never look there!
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