Making caramel sauce without dairy or corn syrup is a snap. This simple caramel sauce contains only three ingredients.
4 popsicle sticks
6 ounces gluten-free, dairy-free dark chocolate (70–80 percent cocoa)
-Sliced almonds or sunflower seeds, optional
1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
1 cup coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon fine-ground sea salt
1. Press a popsicle stick into the top of each apple and place apples in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
2. Prepare an apple holder by making 4 pairs of cross-cuts (two ¼-inch slits each, each pair 4 inches apart from each other) in the top of a closed egg carton. These will hold the apples upside down as they dry.
3. To make salted caramel, place coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt in a heavy-bottom pot (about 7 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep). Whisk to combine ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, watching carefully so that it doesn’t boil over. Boil 15 minutes over medium heat. Then reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, watching carefully to make sure mixture doesn’t burn. (Edges turn dry and black if burning.) Put on oven-proof gloves and carefully pour caramel into a small bowl. Stir regularly as it cools to room temperature. (Don’t wash your pot just yet; you may need it again.) Caramel should thicken to a molasses-like texture when it reaches room temperature (about 20 minutes). If it doesn’t thicken, pour it back into the pot and let it simmer over lowest heat 3 to 5 minutes. Wear gloves to pour caramel back into the small bowl and stir periodically as it cools to room temperature. (Caramel should be fairly thick. If it’s too thin and hot, it will run off the apple, taking the chocolate with it.)
4. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Carefully pour melted chocolate into a bowl. Fill another bowl about half full with sliced almonds, if using, and set aside.
5. Dip each chilled apple into melted chocolate and swirl it around. Hold the apple over the bowl, twisting it until chocolate begins to dry. Place the stick of each apple (apples will be upside down) into prepared egg carton to dry completely.
6. When dry, dip each chocolate-covered apple into salted caramel and swirl it around. Alternatively, spread the caramel over the apple with a butter knife. Only a small amount of caramel is needed for each apple.
7. Dip each caramel-coated apple in the bowl of sliced almonds, if using.
8. Place the stick of each coated apple into the prepared egg carton and let apples sit upside down to dry completely.
Each apple contains 692 calories, 33g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 178mg sodium, 96g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 73g sugars, 6g protein, 46 Est GL.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Paleo Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook (Victory Belt Publishing), by Kelly Brozyna.Yields 4 candy apples