What is Honey Caramel?
Caramel has many different faces; I mean seriously, it’s like a complicated woman….(not that I would know anything about that). It can be runny, soft, hard, thick or even viscous like molten lava. You will find some caramel that’s made with butter and some without; the same goes for cream. In fact, this past Christmas we made a dry caramel entirely out of just sugar! Yep….just one single ingredient. Caramel can be successfully made from any number of different sweeteners ranging from liquid to dry (eg. sugar, maple sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc, etc…)
The methods for making caramel vary about as widely as the ingredients do. Different methods can produce fairly different results but in the end……all roads lead to DELICIOUS. This Honey Caramel recipe that I’ve prepared for you here is wonderfully thick, creamy and spreadable. Essentially, it’s Dulce de Leche, made with coconut milk and honey. This makes it perfect for topping donuts, filling cookies, cakes and of course, eating with a spoon (again, not that I would know anything about that).
Easy 3 Step Honey Caramel
Makes about 1/2 cup. Recipe can easily be doubled.
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
*A strong flavored honey will produce a strong honey flavored caramel. Lighter honey, such as clover or orange honey works best. A mixture of a light honey and maple syrup is delicious as well.
1. In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine all ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat down to a medium low and continue to lightly simmer undisturbed until reduced by about half, and it reaches a nice golden amber color. This can take anywhere from 50-60 minutes.
2.Toward the end of cooking, stir often to keep the mixture from burning badly at the bottom of the pan. However some burning will give the caramel a nice rich flavor. Just stir often to incorporate the small amount of burnt pieces into the caramel. Cooking times vary significantly depending on the width and thickness of your pot, stove, heat and batch size. Just roll with the nature of candy making. The gorgeous amber color is key is key!
3. Remove from heat and transfer to a glass bowl. Let the caramel sit and cool to a lukewarm temperature, then stir, somewhat vigorously till it becomes smoother and glossier. Use or cover and store. Don’t worry if you did’t quite get it to the thickness or color you desired, you can always reheat and cook longer till it’s just perfect. And if it thickens up a bit too much after cooling, simply gently reheat in a bowl, over simmering water. Add bit one teaspoon of room temperature water at a time, till it reached the consistency you desire.
Storing: This caramel spreads/coats best while still slightly warm. You can also make it ahead of time and store in the fridge if you like. Just be sure to gently reheat in a double broiler until it reaches a spreadable/dip-able consistency before using.