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 tablespoon provides c.3% of an average adult's daily needs)
- rich in essential minerals
- full of protein (1 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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 tablespoon = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml
This sauce was amazingly delicious. Complex flavor with some depth. Can't get enough of it. Had some trouble melting the sugar slowly enough before it got too hot. Had some lumps and strained it when I was done. Had it on an apple crisp last night.
Brilliant - so glad you enjoyed it, Wendy, thanks for letting me know! xx
Linnea | (Chick)peas & Understanding
Wow you genius Nicole!! This sounds so interesting, will need to try this when I get a hold of a new miso jar! x
Ha ha, thanks so much, Linnea - let me know what you think of it when you make it! xx
What would I have this sauce with? Nothing, it sounds too good not to eat all on its own. Love the idea of miso in the sauce. I can see it would work.
Ha ha ha - see, this is why we're friends, Choclette! xx
Oh how interesting! Would never have thought of using miso in a caramel sauce! It sounds delicious though 😀
Oh, do try it, Nadia - I'm sure you'll love it! xx
How intriguing and yet simple to make! I love caramel and I love miso (my youngest son loves it even more than me, which I find a little odd for a child who has not been brought up on an Asian diet) and the idea of combing these flavours is genius! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare:)
That's so cool that your son loves miso, Monika - does he enjoy other salty foods too?
Thank you for your kind words, and for hosting #CookBlogShare again! xx
I would never ever have thought of adding miso to caramel sauce but can see that is might work really well, especially as salted caramel is so popular. It's such a great creative idea Nico! x
It's fantastic, Corina - I'm totally hooked! xx