All the flavors in the world, and you choose to be SALTY. But seriously, salted caramel is no joking matter. That ish is delish.
I’m a huge fan of Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate, even though my wallet and my waistline aren’t. We are a house divided. But regardless of this inner turmoil, I’ve been wanting to create a homemade, vegan version that does the original justice and is worthy of sharing with friends and fam this holiday season. Enter this beauty.
The first step is creating a delicious, salted date-caramel sauce to be stirred into the hot chocolate.
This comes together in under a minute in the Vitamix (or any other high speed blender). If you don’t have a high speed blender, a regular blender or food processor may work with a significant increase in processing time.
Then everything goes on to the stovetop for maximum nostalgia and holiday cheer. Friends and family will marvel at the taste of hot chocolate that doesn’t come from a packet!
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- ⅓ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp light or regular coconut milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Himalayan sea salt
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
- 5 oz. vegan chocolate chips or chunks (I like Enjoy Life brand)
- Coconut whipped cream (I like So Delicious brand) or vegan marshmallows (try Trader Joe’s) for topping
- Pit your dates. Add the dates, maple syrup, vanilla extract and coconut milk to your blender. Blend on high speed for at least one minute or until quite smooth. Add salt and reblend. Taste and slowly add salt until the caramel is your desired saltiness. (This makes about 1.5 cups of the caramel. I love to save any leftovers to dip apples in throughout the week.)
- In a saucepan, add your milk, chocolate, and 5-6 tbsp of the caramel. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until all the chocolate is melted. Taste and slowly add salt as desired, tasting as you go.
- Remove from heat and place in mugs. Top with whipped topping, marshmallows, and a drizzle of caramel. Enjoy!