Vegan Miso Caramel Dip with Pretzels and Granny Smith Apples
A few key boxes need to be checked to be considered a flawless late-night snack in our book. First, it needs some kind of crunchy element that will keep us going back for more. Second, it should be both salty and sweet, because TBH, we can never choose which we’re more in the mood for. Add a refreshing palate cleanser and boom: That’s one epic bite. That’s how we came up with vegan miso caramel dip with pretzels and Granny Smith apples.
This indulgent treat starts by boiling sugar and water on the stove until they brown, then adding coconut cream and miso to the mix. If you’ve never used either ingredient before, don’t sweat it. Coconut cream is basically the go-to dairy-free substitute for heavy cream, and miso paste is a traditional Japanese product made from fermented soybeans and a mold called koji. Its flavor is uber tangy and salty, so it adds a funky, umami-laced richness to the caramel. We suggest dissolving the miso in water to mellow its punchiness a bit before it’s added to the pot, but you could also just whisk it in straight from the container while the caramel is thickening to keep its flavor intense.
If you’re not on a plant-based diet, you can totally use heavy cream instead of coconut cream. Some strict vegans also may avoid regular white sugar, so feel free to use organic sugar or coconut sugar instead. Whatever ingredients you decide on, just make sure you have plenty of munchies for dipping—those are nonnegotiable.
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons water, divided
1 tablespoon white miso paste
¼ cup canned coconut cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Flaky salt, for serving (optional)
Pretzels and sliced Granny Smith apples, for serving
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, continue to cook over medium heat for about 7 to 9 minutes, occasionally swirling the mixture to prevent sticking.
2. While the sugar mixture boils, microwave the remaining 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl for 10 seconds. Add the miso paste to the bowl and stir until dissolved, about 2 minutes.
3. Once the sugar mixture turns brown, turn off the heat and move the saucepan to a cold burner. Stir in the coconut cream. Thoroughly whisk in the dissolved miso paste and vanilla extract if desired. Simmer the caramel over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes to thicken it, stirring it periodically. The longer it simmers, the thicker and more reduced it will be.
4. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes more. Top with flaky salt if desired and serve immediately or store in a jar or airtight container, refrigerate and reheat to serve.