What do you think about a real-deal fudge without any cane sugar, butter or milk? A vegan caramel fudge made from good ingredients…?
I am sure that there are many fudge lovers out there that are living a plant-based lifestyle, or simply people who like to treat themselves with something that is not unhealthy and will still taste completely decadent…
Well, this coconut caramel fudge is exactly that. Made from only a couple of plant-based ingredients, without any added oils, naturally gluten-free, and tastes like heaven. It is also nut-free, which makes it suitable for people with nut allergies as well.
Although I decided to make it as wholesome as possible and left out any additional oils (the only oil is naturally present in coconut), I couldn’t replace coconut sugar and a little bit of agave nectar in this recipe.
Those ingredients will simply give you the nicest, smooth and super fudgy texture, with some natural caramel flavour from coconut sugar.
Ingredients for the vegan coconut caramel fudge
You will need these ingredients to make the fudge of your dreams:
- coconut flakes
- coconut blossom sugar
- full-fat coconut milk
- agave syrup (can be substituted with maple syrup if you prefer it)
- ground vanilla
- pea protein powder
You will also need a good blender or a food processor, because coconut flakes will need to be blended into a smooth paste (coconut “butter”). We will first heat them a bit in the oven or on a pan at a low heat – that way coconut oil will soften and coconut flakes will be easier to blend.
If you don’t have a strong blender to do this, you can still make this fudge with a store-bought coconut butter; make sure that you purchase one that is 100% coconut. It is important for this recipe that coconut is in a paste form, so no skipping with this one.
Coconut milk that you use in this recipe needs to be a full-fat type, ideally with 60-70% coconut content. The watery plant drinks won’t do the thing. Also, try to get coconut milk with only coconut and water as ingredients (no thickener or other additives) if possible – it is the best option for cooking.
Coconut sugar to the rescue
To be completely honest, I no longer see sweets with coconut sugar as guilty treats, because I don’t feel any of that nasty sugar effect on my body after consuming some. Coconut sugar is also rich in minerals and has a really low glycemic index, hence it doesn’t make you crave for more.
I have also not experienced any effect of coconut sugar on my teeth, while with some other sugars (and especially with refined sugar) my teeth immediately become sensitive.
Maybe that is just my personal experience, but I have talked with many people who have noticed the same. I think it is the best option for sweet recipes in which it is impossible to replace sugar with anything else (such as dates or stevia leaves) because you need to achieve a certain consistency.
Some protein to balance it out
Still (it might be just me but), all those sugary sweets, even if sweetened only with dates, never completely satisfy me if they are just super sweet from dates or coconut sugar and fatty from coconut milk or nut butters.
I need something to have them taste “full”, if that makes sense. It could either be some more ground nuts or some plant protein powder. In this case, the nuts would ruin the soft fudginess and smooth texture, so I decided to go for some pea protein.
Unlike hemp protein, pea protein is pretty neutral in flavour; it is very likely that you won’t be able to feel it in a cake if you put a relatively small amount. If you overdo it with the protein powder, any dish will feel dry and difficult to eat. So – just dose it carefully.
Another cool thing – protein will keep this fudge from melting, so once you cool it down and slice it, it can be kept at the room temperature and remain in perfect shape. I even prefer it like that than from the fridge.
Without further ado, here is the recipe!
- 400 g coconut flakes
- 200 g coconut blossom sugar
- 400 ml full-fat coconut milk
- 100 g agave syrup
- 1 pinch ground vanilla bean
- 50 g pea protein powder
- Heat the coconut flakes in a pan over a low heat until they start turning golden. I did this in two rounds, 200 grams each.
- Put all the flakes into a blender or a food processor and blend until you get a very smooth, buttery consistency. The volume will decrease significantly as the coconut breaks down and lets the oil out.
- Mix full-fat coconut milk with coconut sugar and vanilla in a pan, put over a low heat and let it combine.
- Add agave syrup and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes with constant stirring. It should turn into a relatively thin, but somewhat sticky caramel.
- Pour the caramel into a bowl, add the coconut butter that you made and whisk to combine.
- Add the pea protein powder and mix with a spoon (at this point it will be too thick to whisk).
- Press the mixture into a mould and let it cool in the fridge overnight.
- Slice the thickened coconut fudge.
- After slicing, you can keep it at the room temperature for the best soft and fudgy consistency.