Valentine's Day

Coconut Cajeta & Chocolate Fondue

February 15, 2011
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. - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

  • Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 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 teaspoon 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)
In This Recipe
Directions
  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.
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I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.