Lactose Free Caramel Sauce

Our sad lactose free world has opened up soooo much in the past couple of years. Almost simultaneously I learned that select Cabot cheeses are naturally lactose free, AND an organic dairy company started making lactose free sour cream (and yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese). My husband developed lactose intolerance in his mid-20's, so although I can enjoy all the dairy I want, when I'm cooking for the family, I do not make 2 different dishes. Nowadays, I can go to my local grocery store and even pick up lactose free half and half. The one thing I'm waiting for is butter. Lactose free butter (that still has butter flavor unlike ghee), who's going to make it first?!?

lactose free caramel sauce

A couple of nights ago we had friends coming over for dinner. For dessert, I had apples on hand and I whipped together an easy apple sharlotka. My husband, while admiring my handiwork, said that it looked like it needed a caramel sauce. It certainly did sound like a good idea. I looked at several different recipes and settled on a brown sugar base. With the addition of lactose free half and half and by substituting coconut oil for butter, I had a winner of a sauce. It would be an easy way to dress up lactose free ice cream or olive oil cake.

Apple Sharlotka hot out of the oven. Isn't it just asking for some yummy caramel sauce?

Apple Sharlotka hot out of the oven. Isn't it just asking for some yummy caramel sauce?

Lactose Free Caramel Sauce

Adapted from Pioneer Woman, makes about a cup

Ingredients


1 packed cup brown sugar
1/2 cup lactose free half-and-half
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Mix the brown sugar, lactose free half-and-half, coconut oil and salt in a thick-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk frequently for 5 to 7 minutes, until the caramel begins to thicken. Add vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar or squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until cold. Caramel keeps refrigerated for about a week.

When you're ready to serve, you can reheat the caramel sauce by placing the container in hot water for a few minutes or microwave until a pour-able consistency.
 

lactose free caramel sauce

Dense Chocolate Cake-Gluten and Dairy Free

Or, adult brownies as my husband lovingly called them. Not because they have alcohol, simply because they are sophisticated and the very essence of chocolate. I made this cake a few years ago using butter and thought I would try a variation that omits the dairy and substituted coconut oil. It worked out perfectly. A little slice of this perfectly moist cake with a cup of coffee, or Bailey's and your dinner guests will go home happy!

Dense Chocolate Cake

Dense Chocolate Cake-Gluten and Dairy-Free

Adapted from www.epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • Powdered sugar for additional decoration (if desired)
Measuring cocoa powder

Measuring cocoa powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a 9-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with round of parchment paper and grease the paper. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a microwave-safe glass bowl, melt chocolate with coconut oil. On full power microwave for 45 seconds, stir, then microwave for 30 second intervals stirring in between until the chocolate is fully melted. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 20-25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

To create a design on top,  place a stencil (you can cut one out of parchment paper, like making a snowflake), and dust with icing sugar. Carefully remove the parchment paper and serve immediately.

Lots of chocolate goes into this dense cake.

Lots of chocolate goes into this dense cake.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

This was a home run meal for my husband and me. It's a good recipe for a lot of reasons: we like to eat lots of vegetables, we like to do some gluten-free options a few nights a week, and I like to eat low-carb almost all of the time. And, once we learned that Cabot Cheddars are lactose-free, recipes like this, that use cheese as a binder, became an option for us.

For my son, this recipe was a big miss. Our 4 year-old really loves cauliflower, especially when it's roasted. But when you start messing around with his pizza and combining the two, that's when he draws the line.

I looked around online for a recipe to start with and stumbled upon this one from Fit Sugar. It was a good starting point, but with a little tweaking of the recipe, you will get a more consistent (and flavorful) "pizza dough". This recipe, when cooked in a pan or on a griddle could be used as a bun too. I'll post more if we end up making any cauliflower buns for our burgers!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free (if you use Cabot Cheddar)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, large
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or shredded
  • 2 cups cheese, Cabot cheddar 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Using your grater attachment for your food processor, or with a box grater, grate cheese (if you're using pre-shredded cheese you can skip this step), set aside. Grate cauliflower and garlic cloves. Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a microwave safe bowl and cook 7-8 minutes on high until softened. Cool mixture.

Shaping the "dough"

Shaping the "dough"

Add kosher salt and pepper to eggs, combine. Add egg mixture and 1 1/2 cups cheese to the cooled, grated cauliflower. Stir to combine.

On two parchment lined sheet pans, split the mixture in half. Shape the "dough" into 1/4 inch thick circles, approximately 8 inches in diameter. 

Bake the "dough" for 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time. Top the "dough" with sauce, toppings, and remaining cheese. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

The more toppings you add, the more likely this will be a fork and knife pizza. We made two different flavors, and one was pick-up-able, and the other not. Regardless of how we got it to our mouths, both were delicious!