Coconut Cajeta & Chocolate Fondue

By • February 15, 2011 • 79 Comments

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Author Notes: This dessert fondue is inspired by a Coconut Dulce de Leche recipe from Bon Appétit magazine that I found on Epicurious.com. I've made it multiple times, and have tweaked it a bit to my liking. My most major change is the addition of chocolate. It took a bit of experimenting to figure out the proportions so the chocolate doesn't overwhelm the more delicate caramel flavor. If you are not a coconut fan, don't fear, the coconuttiness is pretty subtle if you use vanilla extract & plain rum or cognac. This fondue is so luscious you really won't believe there's no cream or butter in it. NB: This recipe can be made vegan, as long as you track down vegan turbinado sugar & use vegan dark chocolate. - hardlikearmourhardlikearmour

Food52 Review: We loved the idea of fondue made with chocolate and cajeta (a close cousin of dulce de leche), and when we saw that hardlikearmour used coconut milk to make her cajeta, well -- there was no holding us back. Her fondue is silken and almost custardy, punctuated with rum and vanilla and generously salted, the way we like caramel to be. Not surprisingly, it is quite rich and sweet, and we found our favorite dipping instrument ended up being salty, extra-dark pretzels. We highly recommend you try the combination. - A&MA&M

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

  • 2 13.5 ounce cans regular coconut milk (I use Chaokoh brand or another high-fat version)
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (8 oz)
  • 3/4 teaspoons Diamond kosher salt (if using Morton's scale back to 1/2 tsp)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or coconut extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum, coconut rum, or cognac (optional)
  1. Combine coconut milk, brown sugar, and salt in a 12-inch or larger heavy skillet. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until reduced and thickened, stirring more frequently as the mixture thickens; this should take 15 to 20 minutes. The mixture will become darker, and the bubbles will go from being somewhat frothy to looking more like bubbling lava. A wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula scraped along the bottom from one end to another should leave a trail that "heals" within a few seconds. When this happens, remove from heat.
  2. Add the chocolate, wait about 1 minute, then stir to incorporate. Once chocolate is fully melted, stir in the vanilla and optional liquor.
  3. Transfer to fondue pot or ceramic bowl. If using a fondue pot, make sure the heat is low to prevent scorching. Serve with fresh fruit (bananas, pineapple, strawberries, etc...) and/or angel food or pound cake cubes.
  4. NB: If you are not a fan of chocolate, feel free to omit it. The flavor without is a good balance of caramel and coconut.
Jump to Comments (79)

Tags: adaptable to vegan, dairy-free, luscious

Comments (79) Questions (3)

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8 months ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

I don't know how I didn't see this sooner... I make that salted coconut caramel from Bon Appetit all the time, and never thought to add chocolate and rum...pure genius. Can't wait to make this!

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over 3 years ago beyondcelery

I've only so far made the cajeta without the chocolate and it's delicious! I adore caramel, though can't really do the dairy--now I have a perfect substitute. Grats on the win, you totally deserve it.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Syronai! I love the cajeta alone, too. It's great stirred into coffee.

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over 3 years ago beyondcelery

I'll try that! It's also great over Vanilla Coconut Bliss ice cream. My next project is to bake it into muffins.

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over 3 years ago LocalSavour

Congratulations hardlikearmour ~ can't wait to try this recipe ~ what a fantastic combo of flavors!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, LocalSavour! My husband just told me one of his freshmen students made my fondue! How cute is that?

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over 3 years ago Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)

What an unusual and fantastic sounding recipe. I am a major fan of coconut and chocolate, and dipping pretzels in is brilliant. Can't wait to try this one!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Made a batch this evening for my brother and our vegan friend using the Endangered Species 70% chocolate bar and organic, vegan demerara sugar. Came out perfectly. Pretzels were the favorite dipper. Great suggestion, A&M!

Kay_at_lake

over 3 years ago Kayb

Oh, wow....this looks stunning. congrats, and can't wait to try!

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

Congrats, this looks delicious and I love the flavor combinations.

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over 3 years ago kmartinelli

So excited to see that this won!!! Congrats! You SO deserve it!

Claire

over 3 years ago midnitechef

Bravo for the win! I might have to save this recipe for company!

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Yay!!! Many well-deserved congrats!!! So happy for you!

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over 3 years ago TasteFood

Congratulations on your win!

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

So well-deserved! Brava!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks to all for your kind words and support! I'm sneaking a few food52 minutes in between appointments, and have felt abuzz all day. Love, love, love food52 -- ps. to my brother, I don't need an intervention ;-)

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hahaha! We probably all need an intervention! :)

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over 3 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

Congratulations hla!

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Yay! I'm so thrilled for you with this win, hardlikearmour. It is a great recipe to represent your prolific and creative repertoire. Hope you will celebrate big!

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

Yay! Congrats to you on your really lovely fondue!!

Henrykiss

over 3 years ago arielleclementine

huzzah! congrats on your win!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Woo hoo! I am so thrilled for you! Can't wait to make this (after I lose the 5 pudding pounds I gained) :)

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

lol...i'm feeling you on that! there are several pudding recipes i really want to try, but will need to wait for sometime when i've been more virtuous.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Woo-Hoo....Congratulations on your win, HLA!!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

congratulations on another great recipe, hardlikearmour!

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over 3 years ago Bevi

Congrats on your win!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hurrah! Congrats on a well deserved win!

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

WOOT! Congratulations! Very well deserved!!!

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over 3 years ago nannydeb

Yay! Congratulations!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Yipee!! Congratulations, Sara! I am so happy for you!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

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over 3 years ago Spork

delicious! and left overs were great in coffee :)

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks for trying it! I'm really happy you enjoyed it. I love it in coffee, too, though I actually prefer the non-chocolate version that way.

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over 3 years ago onetribegourmet

Congrats! Just voted for you! Good Luck! :)

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Wow! Thank you.

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over 3 years ago tynitown

This is coming out for the Oscars on Sunday! Any way to prepare it a bit in advance?

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Sorry for the delayed response, work has gotten in the way of my food52 time :p You can make the whole thing ahead, and either put it in a microwave safe bowl then heat at 50% for several minutes, until warmed through, stirring occasionally OR put it in a metal bowl you can heat over a pan of water like a double boiler. It can be served either warm or at room temp (is more pudding texture at room temp.)

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

ps. I store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

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over 3 years ago tynitown

Thank you!! I can't wait to try it!

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over 3 years ago tynitown

Thrilled you won!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm just thrilled your second batch came out well! I've been sneaking spoonfuls of the batch I just made. It's really yummy straight from the fridge.

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over 3 years ago Couldn't Be Parve

This looks fabulous. I love the idea of using coconut milk to make cajeta, I am going to have to try this recipe soon.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

The cajeta alone is delicious. I sometimes make a half batch to put in our morning coffee.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yahooo!!!! So glad your yummy fondue is in the finals!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, mrslarkin! I'm ecstatic.

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over 3 years ago kmartinelli

Yes, ditto!!!

Lobster_001

over 3 years ago nannydeb

Oooh, yummy! Congrats!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, nannydeb!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Wow! My daughter is urging me to make this. Might be just the thing for the red carpet shows.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I urge you to try it as well!

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats! This looks fab!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Sagegreen! I was surprised not to see your fondue in the running, since it sounds so delicious.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

so happy to see you in the finals again!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, drbabs!

Ashtaco

over 3 years ago wanderash

This looks great! Any excuse to sneak cajeta into my food and I'm all in!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Cajeta is a good thing!

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks absolutely fabulous!!!! I definitely need to make this one. I'm so happy to see you in the finalists again!! You rock, girl!!!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, ChezSusanne! I'm definitely happy, too!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Yahoo! Congrats, hardlikearmour!! Thrilled this is a finalist. Not sure how I missed this last week.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, gingerroot. It does seem up your alley!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Wow, this sounds ridiculously tasty. Hurray hla!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Midge! I hope you give it a try.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You rock lady!!!! I'm so glad this is a finalist!!!! I mean, I'm all for melted cheese and everything, but there is almost nothing better than chocolate and coconut. Yippee! I'm off to vote for you now!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks so much fiveandspice! I love cheese fondue, too, and if I had to either give up cheese or chocolate I'd have trouble choosing. Thank goodness I don't have to give up either!

Chris_in_oslo

over 3 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

This sounds amazing!! A huge increase in sophistication from the Toblerone, cream, and cognac chocolate fondue of the 1970s. What do you make of A&M's pretzel option? And congratulations on being a finalist. The two finalists are so different that after this week, there'll really be no need to pick a favorite--we can all love them both.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Greenstuff! I LOVE the idea of the salted pretzel, and wish I'd come up with it. It's definitely interesting to have a sweet vs. savory contest.

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yay I knew it! Awesome recipe - CONGRATS!!!!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, aargersi! I'm thrilled to be a finalist!

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over 3 years ago cheese1227

Wow, looks like I need to bump all the kids off the guest list for the next fondue party. Even if they might want to eat it, I don't think I will want to share.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

LOL, cheese1227. Just make a double batch, and omit the rum for the kids portion. Plenty to go around!

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over 3 years ago megbennington

This sounds incredible - thanks for pointing out the vegan version. Delicious!!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Megan! It's nice that vegan sugar is pretty easy to find these days, and either turbinado or demerara should work. It's so rich that no one would even suspect it's vegan!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

sorry - meg! not megan

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Wowzah! Thanks for directing me to your recipe - it is definitely going on the must try list!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, fiveandspice! I could personally eat it with a spoon. Let me know how it works out for you if you try it.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Oh, yes! Like a liquid Mounds bar. You could dip almonds into it, if you felt like a nut. ;)

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

The coconut flavor is pretty subtle, I definitely taste the chocolate and caramel notes more. Without the chocolate the coconut shines through more. I make the non-chocolate version and stir it in my coffee. I'm going to edit the recipe as suggested by aargersi to amp up the coconut for the lovers!

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

YUM on THIS! Love love! What about coconut rum for the liquor? Or would that be too sweet? I am a big fan of coconut. And caramel. And hardlikearmour :-)

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I think coconut rum would be great in it, especially if you're a coconut fan! I'm a huge coconut fan, but am aware not everyone is. You could also go with coconut extract in place of vanilla if you wanted more coconuttiness.