Christmas is going to be here before you know it. This year, instead of trying to scrape together extra money to buy everyone presents, I’m making homemade candies to give as gifts. This is the first in my caramel candy research.
These caramels are not only gluten free, but dairy and corn free as well. Coconut milk from the box is a great substitute for heavy cream. Our house is almost 100% corn syrup free. We only use non-gmo organic corn when we do have it. So, for my caramels I used brown rice syrup as a substitute. As it cooks it smells like brown rice cereal, and the flavor is great. These caramels have just a little bit of chocolate added to make them taste like a tootsie roll.
I was also able to get organic 74% dark chocolate from a local factory, literally down the road from my house. 🙂 Dagoba chocolate is gluten free, but does contain trace amounts of soy. They make some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had.
Make some of these caramels for your holiday party or to give as gifts, either way they’ll never know it’s gluten, dairy and corn free.
1 c. Evaporated cane sugar
(FYI – If your looking for evaporated cane sugar, it is in granulated form. It is the sugar left when the the water evaporates from the crushed cane.)
1/2 c. Brown rice syrup (can substitute corn syrup or honey)
1 c. Coconut milk, plain or vanilla (or regular heavy cream)
(use the kind in the carton or box, it has the proper consistency)
2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
(I used Dagoba organic 74% Dark Chocolate)
1 + Tb. Coconut oil (or butter)
Line a 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment or foil. Grease with coconut oil. Set aside
In a large, heavy bottom saucepan combine sugar and brown rice syrup thoroughly.
Bring sugar to a low boil over medium heat without stirring. Sugar will start to turn a light caramel color and bubble slightly after about 5 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and stir in coconut milk. Be careful, it may bubble up.
Return to medium heat and let simmer.
Stir occasionally and bring up to 240 – 244 F on a candy thermometer.
About 15 – 25 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate and coconut oil.
Pour in to prepared pan.
Let cool for at least 2 hours. If your in a hurry, pop in the fridge.
Cut into 1 inch squares and wrap in 3 inch square parchment papers.
I got a little impatient and wanted to firm up my caramels to wrap them. The white you see in the creases is just a little excess coconut oil.