1 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup water, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
3 tablespoons margarine (I use Earth Balance)
3 to 4 tablespoons plain or vanilla nondairy milk (I use soymilk), divided
1. Place an 8" or 9" metal cake pan in the freezer. Heat a 1 1/2 quart to 2 quart pot or large frying pan with a thick, heavy base over medium-high heat. Add sugar. Stir with a whisk or wooden spoon every 10-15 seconds, for about a minute, until sugar starts to melt. Stir, nonstop, for about 2-3 minutes. (I used a vegan cane sugar and for some reason mine didn't want to melt. So if you're like me, add 1/4 cup of water.) The sugar will be EXTREMELY hot by now, which is good, but it will probably pop and splatter, so be careful! What you want if for the water to evaporate most of the water so the sugar starts caramelizing.
2. Add vanilla. When the sugar starts to turn just a little darker, or as dark as you want it and the water is almost gone, add margarine and stir nonstop until it melts. Let boil on medium heat for 2 to3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
3. Add non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Depending on how creamy you want it, you can add 3 or 4 tablespoons (I added 4). I wouldn't add more then that, would be too syrupy. Continue to boil it about 4 minutes, stirring every 20-30 seconds. (Depending on how long you let the sugar caramelize you can either make candies with it or a sauce. I chose not to cook mine that long because I wanted to drizzle mine onto of apples and ice cream.)
4. Get that cake pan out of the freezer, it should be nice and cold by now. Turn the heat off on your stove and let the sauce sit for 1 minute more. Then pour very quickly into the cake pan. The cold helps it setup better, if you don't have a metal cake pan, you can poor is onto a cold cookie sheet, or just into a bowl. Let it sit for about 20 minutes to cool.
Tip: Wash your pan out right away, nothing is harder to clean up then crystallized caramel. Same goes for the spoons/whisks and anything else with the sticky stuff on it!
Source of recipe: I couldn't find any good vegan caramel recipes so I made my own!