Level up your desserts with this vegan miso caramel sauce! Bringing a fantastic depth of flavour and richness, the Asian umami flavour bomb that is miso is the perfect partner for this sweet and silky caramel sauce.
"What's this?" I hear you ask, "Miso caramel sauce? WTH?"
But stop and think about it for a moment... miso is salty and a little sweet, caramel is sweet - you can see where I'm going...
We all love salted caramel, right? So why not use miso instead of salt? While we all need salt, miso does offer a greater range of health benefits. It's..
- generally probiotic*, which helps keep the gut healthy, and is believed to aid digestion
- full of B Vitamins, including the elusive B12
- a great source of Vitamins E & K
- beneficial to those who have anaemia, as it's a good source of iron (1 tbsp provides c.3% of an average adult's daily needs)
- rich in essential minerals
- full of protein (1 tbsp contains around 4% of an average adult's daily needs)
Miso also contains the nine essential amino acids we need, which means it's a complete protein.
*(Some brands aren't probiotic, so do check before buying.)
What is miso?
So what exactly is this amazing Asian staple? Used across East Asia for several millennia, in general, miso (dòujiàng/doubanjiang in China, doenjang in Korea) is made from ground and fermented soya beans, some grains (barley, rye, rice), salt, and koji (a starter culture made from wood ash and rice mould spores). It comes in many varieties, of varying strengths and colours, including hatchomiso, which is grain-free, and therefore suitable for those avoiding gluten.
For all of my cooking which requires fermented bean paste, I use just three types...
- Shiro miso (sweet, salty, light beige to medium light brown, AKA white) - Japanese
- Doenjang (less sweet, more salty, brown) - Korean
- Doubanjiang (aka Pixian/Pi Xian) (salty, very hot, red, made with broad beans) - Chinese
In some recipes I use more than one (e.g. Asian sauces), in others, I stick to a single miso... e.g. for this miso caramel sauce, I use shiro miso.
One thing to note is that cooking will kill off the 'friendly' bacteria, so if you're consuming miso for its tummy benefits, then add it to the dish at the end of cooking. Taste-wise, it makes no difference when you add it, so if you're not bothered about probiotics, add it whenever.
Of course, miso doesn't have to only be used for cooked foods; my salad dressings almost always contain a tablespoonful, and I'm rather partial to just eating a teaspoon of shiro miso on its own.
Yep, I just admitted that.
For more information about miso, check out the Wikipedia page.
Miso caramel is made in much the same way as my salted caramel sauce, and is totally gorgeous on all kinds of desserts but especially with ice cream, apple pie, fruit salsa, baked apples, oatmeal, etc.
And of course, straight out of the jar!
Vegan Miso Caramel Sauce
- full of umami yumminess
- easy to make
- dangerously more-ish
Whatever you have it with, I know you're going to love this caramel sauce!
What would you have vegan miso caramel sauce with?
Vegan Miso Caramel Sauce
- 200 g sugar
- 100 g vegan butter or margarine
- 120 ml cashew milk
- 3 tbsp white miso paste
- Add the sugar to a heavy-based pan, over a low heat. If necessary, use a diffuser.
- Leave to melt and caramelise - don't stir. This will take around 10-15 minutes.
- Once the sugar has melted, stir in the vegan butter until you have a smooth caramel.
- Whisk in the cashew milk, and simmer for 1-2 mins, until the caramel sauce has thickened.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the miso.
- Decant into a sterile jar, cap, and leave to cool at room temperature before storing in the 'fridge.
- If you use margarine, you'll find that the water separates out, and makes the caramel claggy. It's not an insurmountable problem but it does mean that you'll have to work harder to incorporate it.
- Because of the sugar content, this caramel sauce will keep for several months in the 'fridge. Not that it has any chance of being around that long!
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml