Caramel with Molasses, Maple and Sucanat: Apples Optional

Sometimes it’s worth sharing a fail when there’s a WIN in the same effort, as in the case of these wretched-looking mini candy apples with what turned out to be an fabulously flavorful caramel sauce.

Caramel with Molasses, Maple and Sucanat #dairyfree #norefinedsugar

Go ahead, laugh. I deserve it! But truly, the flavor of the sauce is worth making this for other caramel uses.

Aren’t they pitiful? You can say so, I know they are. Any food blogger these days naturally gets excited when they think they may have a potential Pinterest hit in the works. I thought these adorable mini apples might be contenders, scooped with a melon baller and skewered with twig-shaped lollipop sticks, sprinkled with smoked sea salt.

Well.

The consistency was potentially a problem, but the moisture on the apple balls (having no skin on them) made them so slippery that the caramel more or less slid right off.  Letting the caramel cool and thicken a bit more helped a little, but as you can see, it was eventually to no avail.

But the good news is the flavor of the sauce. As I’ve mentioned once or thrice, I have a serious Thing for caramel and will eagerly try all the varieties I can. I wanted to experiment with some unrefined sweeteners (like sucanat and molasses from Wholesome Sweeteners). I also wanted to make it dairy-free and slightly lower-glycemic. Both the coconut milk and the unrefined sweeteners, the molasses lent the caramel a hint of tanginess and umami that worked beautifully – even if it looked far from beautiful melting around the base of those apples. And hey, the minerals in both the sucanat and the molasses give it a nutritional boost as well. …

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