I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys!
As I’ve mentioned recently, I just figured out how to make cashew cream and how amazing it is. Really, amazing. Every time I think of something that uses coconut cream or heavy cream the first thing my mind jumps to is, I wonder how that would turn out with cashew cream. I’ve been so obsessed with it lately that I think I should really just buy stock in cashews. It might pay off within the next year.
A few weeks ago I made a cake for my birthday. I was brainstorming frosting ideas and I came to the conclusion that a chocolate caramel ganache-type frosting would be incredible, so I googled and came across David Lebovitz’s post on how to make perfect caramels. I had some extra cashew cream sitting in the fridge and decided to use that to make the ganache. 20 minutes later I had a delicious ganache frosting on my hands, which unfortunately did not make it to the blog because 1) the cake turned out looking horrible, despite how good it tasted, and 2) I didn’t even measure anything out.
BUT! That frosting got my brain-wheels turning, and next thing I knew I was trying to figure out how to make regular, chewy candy caramels with cashew cream! I wasn’t sure if it would work. I kind of figured that if it were possible, someone would have done it already and google would know about it. But my 0.5 second search on Google did me no good, so I was off into unknown territory with just some raw cashews and a crazy black dog as my sole companions.
And guess what! I am happy to report that not only does it actually work, it turned out incredible! After I poured it out of the pan I honestly stood there over the remaining bit in the pan and spooned it into my mouth as fast as I could. I may have lost a few tastebuds to the heat, but that’s okay because it was so, so tasty!
So, I purposely made these caramels super soft. Like they will literally melt in your mouth and disappear down your throat and you’ll be going back for another one before you even know what happened. I did this because I have big plans for these babies next week! But if you want to have these just for the simple pleasure of eating, feel free to make the adjustments I noted at the bottom of the recipe.
Also, a note on the corn syrup. It’s oooo-kayyyy to use it. Really. It’s okay. It’s not high-fructose corn syrup. It’s just like any other sweet syrup, it just has the proper molecular makeup to help keep the sugar granules from re-crystallizing. In other words, you’re not going to die if you eat a tiny bit of corn syrup. I promise.
Cashew Cream Caramels
An easy caramel recipe that uses cashew cream instead of heavy cream! Creamy dreamy flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture make these candies incredible!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 30 pieces
- Category: Dessert
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2/3 cup water + extra if needed
- 6 Tbsp butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment so that it hangs over the edges. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- Measure our your water in a 2-cup measuring cup and heat in the microwave until boiling. Add the cashews and set aside to soak for at least 1 hour.
- Place the cashews and their soaking liquid in a blender and blend until very smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer back to your measuring cup; you should have just a bit less than 1 cup of cashew cream. Add water to bring it up to an even cup.
- Place the cashew cream, butter, and salt in a small saucepan and place over very low heat until the butter is melted, stirring often. Be sure that it does not boil at all, even around the edges. Also, don’t do this in the microwave.
- While the cream is warming, place the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan (larger than you think necessary, such as a 4-quart. A light-colored yet heavy-bottomed pan works the best). Stir until the sugar is evenly moistened. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan so that the heat sensor is immersed in the sugar mixture (but not touching the bottom!).
- Place over medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil without stirring. Let the mixture cook (again, without stirring) until it reaches 300-310F. If necessary, tip the pan to fully immerse the thermometer in the mixture to get an accurate reading.
- Once the mixture reaches 310F, remove from the heat and slowly pour in the warm cashew cream/butter mixture while stirring rapidly. It may spatter a bit while you do this; be careful!
- Once the cream is all mixed in, return the pan to the heat and continue to cook over medium heat again without stirring until the temperature reaches 245F (your thermometer may initially read higher than this; that’s because it is still coming down from when you added the cream).
- When it reaches 245F, quickly remove it form the heat, stir in the vanilla (without scraping the bottom) and pour it into your prepared pan (again, without scraping).
- Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a couple hours before cutting into smaller pieces. Wrap individual pieces in wax paper and store at room temperature for 1-2 weeks, or in the fridge or freezer for much longer!
-This recipe makes rather soft, melt-in-your-mouth caramels. If you’d like a more chewy variety, decrease the butter to 4 Tbsp and only use 3/4 cup of the cashew cream.
-Make sure you use the Earth Balance original butter, not the whipped one.