Have you ever had sheer laziness paralyze you in a task only to find out later how easy it actually was? Felt a little silly, right? I’ve been considering the idea of an artificially sweetened condensed coconut milk for some time, but dismissed it out-of-hand each time as likely not feasible. I don’t really have a good explanation for why I thought that. Perhaps it was because I felt that perhaps sugar was key in the dense consistency of it and I’d need an emusifying agent like xanthan gum to achieve a similar texture.
I really should learn to ignore those thoughts and do five minutes of research on a topic online before I back-burner a recipe development project as difficult or impossible.
There is some good news and some great news about making your own artificially sweetened condensed coconut milk. The good news is what was a little surprising to me — that it actually works really well, and without the need for an emulsifying agent. The GREAT news is that not only does it work, but it’s totally delicious and I may actually like it better than the full sugar non-coconut version I used to enjoy in my pre-keto life.
When I write recipe posts like this where I am creating an ingredient and not a finished dish, it is typically because I am thinking a few steps down the road. My process goes something like, “I wonder if this dish/drink/whatever could be made keto-friendly? If it were possible, I’d need ingredient a/b/c to be keto-friendly.”
Artificially sweetened condensed coconut milk was one of those ingredients that I need to make a number of finished plates I have in mind that you will see over the coming week. I suspect its utility might go far beyond those, though.
It may very well be that it can be used in almost anything that would use the full sugar version. That is a lot of the reason why I want to lead with this, rather than the uses. I know I have a lot of low carb baking experts that read this blog, so I want to pose that question to everyone. Have you ever baked with a low carb condensed milk, coconut or otherwise?
Sweetened Coconut Condensed Milk
Bring the coconut milk to a boil over high heat in the smallest diameter pot you have -- it will aid in gauging when it has reduced enough.
When the coconut milk has come to a boil, reduce to a steady simmer. Keep stirring to aid in evaporation and keep it from scorching to the pot.
As the coconut milk is reducing, add the sweeteners and stir to dissolve.
When the mixture has reduced by about half and is the required consistency, remove from the heat and cool. It can be refrigerated for at least 3-4 days.
Coconut milk does not behave exactly like cow's milk under heat. It will glug and generally be disagreeable early on as it comes to a boil. In the middle of the reduction, bubbles will pile up faster and smaller than what you are used to. The best solution for all of this is to only use as much heat as you can easily dissipate by constant whisking.