Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dairy Free Sweetened Condensed Milk

Since we learned about little man's allergies, we have had to make a few adjustments to the way we cook, bake and eat here. 

I'll be honest - we still use ingredients that he can't eat - but we always make sure to have options that he can have ready and available.

But it is my preference to make meals, snacks and treats that everyone can enjoy together.

So when I chose the Chocolate Coconut Ladoo recipe yesterday to help out the Secret Recipe Club, I knew it was an excellent opportunity to try something I've wanted to try for a while - dairy free sweetened condensed milk.

I had seen a few recipes, but chose this one for its simplicity.

It starts with this:

A can of coconut milk (not low fat/fat free - full fat here!).

The coconut milk is brought to a boil and then sweetened. The recipe called for honey but I chose to use agave nectar.

One the sweetener is fully incorporated into the hot milk, simply adjust the heat until the mixture is simmering, and let it simmer away for 30-45 minutes.

Be patient with it. It's worth it.

In a mere 45 minutes, I went from this:

to this:

I know that's not the best picture - I wish I was a bit more ambidextrous in situations like this, so I could use the spatula and camera with as much agility with both hands... but I wanted to show quite how much this reduces and thickens up.

I then transferred the, well, sweetened and condensed coconut milk to a mason jar and allowed it to cool.

Easy as that! And it is deliciously sweet. I can't wait to try this in other recipes now that I know just how easy it is.

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup honey or equivalent sweetener of choice (I used agave nectar)

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Watch this pot closely - once the coconut milk starts to boil, it can bubble over quickly. Whisk regularly to prevent burning.
Reduce the heat, lowering the coconut milk to a simmer, then add the sweetener, whisking until it’s completely dissolved.
Allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half. (I let it simmer for the full 45 minutes)
Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before using in recipes. This sweetened condensed coconut milk should last for at least a week when stored in a sealed container in the fridge.

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