Has anyone had experience making dairy free caramels? I am trying to work with coconut milk and…

Has anyone had experience making dairy free caramels? I am trying to work with coconut milk and brown rice syrup or agave as well as coconut sugar, but I find those are alot of varibles to figure out. Anything I found online doesn’t really work out as the sugar seems to either burn or not thicken. If anyone has experience with even one of those variables I’d love to hear about it.

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Hi there, I have not looked back on this post until now and since then I have stopped trying to make caramel as I was running into too many issues. That being said, I am still very interested to find a recipe that works and that uses coconut sugar or something other than white sugar- (less refined). I would love to learn more about these formulations, can you recommend a book or resource to learn from. the info you provided is helpful ,but still leaves me wondering.

As i said, this is all a bit of an oversimplification, but I hope the information is clear enough to help guide you through the development process. Best of luck!!!!

Some options would be soy powders, pea powders, different types of starches etc… I would advise looking for options that have higher protein contents and little to no fat.

Now the biggest challenge I have come across when converting recipes to vegan formulas as been the ensuring a high enough nonfat solids. With milk, there is a fairly high % of proteins/ sugars/ mineral/ vitamins etc… They act to give caramels their “body”. This especially true of cut “stand up” products. Caramels that will be piped into a mold are more flexible with this parameter, but in either case this is still a parameter of importance. When thinking about dairy milk alternatives, its important to consider with composition and then look for additional ingredients that will help supplement/ fill out the total solid content.

Once again, not all fats are the same. Some provide more flavor than others. At the same time they help to modify the final mouthfeel and melting properties. Some provide a hardening quality in the final product and others the opposite. Dairy fat….coconut fat….cocoa fat….they each have their own particular functions.

The fats also act as a texture modifier and potentially a flavor.

The sugars act as a sweetener, a bulking agent adding dry material to the recipe, a flavor (if caramelized), a doctor (helps prevent crystallization), and a texture modifier. Not all sugars are the same and this is especially true for liquid sugars. Swapping agave syrup for glucose will not give the same properties with regards to the above mentioned functions.

For dairy caramels the key components are sugars, fats and non fat solids. This is an oversimplification, but a helpful way to look at it.

Hi bethingbird! Yes, there are quite a few variables to consider when looking into developing dairy-free caramels. A helpful way to go about it is to look at the basic ingredients that go into a traditional dairy caramel and see how they function for both taste and texture. From there you can compare that to the types of ingredients you are looking to use and see if there is a parity on a technical level.
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