However, my all time favorite use for coconut milk, or, as I learned with this experiment, cream of coconut (which is just more condensed version of coconut milk - and the kind I'm talking about here is sold in most Asian groceries as creme of coconut or coconut cream, the unsweetened version), is coconut milk caramel. I've made it a few times, and I love it. However, I really wanted a thicker version, so I tried it with coconut cream.
Boy, was I wowed! It's thicker, richer, and perfect for what I have planned (I will unveil that soon). In the mean time, here's a recipe for a rich coconut milk caramel.
And, just in case you need an extra incentive to make this, I offer you 2 ways to use it...although my favorite recipe is with a spoon, or warmed over ice cream.
I have pictured what I call coconut caramel mousse. It's not really a mousse, it's just 1 cup of heavy cream, and about 1/3 to 1/2 cup caramel. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold about 1/3 into the caramel to lighten it. Add the rest of the whipped cream, and let chill for about an hour before serving. It's great. It's even better with sprinkled candied ginger and/or chopped pecans.
The second item in the picture are coconut caramel cups. I just rolled some pie dough out (I cheated and used some I had bought), cut it with a 1 1/2" fluted cutter, and placed the dough in a mini cupcake pan. Add 1 t. coconut caramel, and bake in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes. I like to top this to candied ginger as well. The caramel is so rich, the ginger really cuts through the richness and gives you a nice contrast.
For a printable recipe for the caramel, click here.
Caramelized Coconut Milk
1 14-16 oz can cream of coconut (the unsweetened version - just the coconut cream)
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. powdered ginger
In a small crock pot, combine cream of coconut, brown sugar, and ginger. Put temperature on low, and stir every hour for 6-8 hours, until dark brown and a bit thicker. Turn off and let cool, stir in vanilla. Will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for approximately 2 weeks.
If you don’t have a crock pot, combine all ingredients except vanilla in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook on low heat for about 4-6 hours, stirring every hour, until dark brown and a bit thicker. Turn off and let cool, stir in vanilla. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for approximately 2 weeks.