sweet memories

Yum.  Yum yum yum.

Sneaking into the fridge to stick my fingers into a half empty condensed milk can.


Getting told off by Mum.

Keep sneaking back for more anyway.


My sister doing the same.


There’s no doubt about it; this stuff is delicious.  Sweet, creamy, thick, decadent.  Not to mention the fact that you can turn it into caramel.  So many childhood memories attached; my Dad’s favourite Neenish Tarts:

My mum’s condensed milk salad dressing over boiled new potatoes and mint.

Banoffee Pie. Oh Banoffee Pie.

It doesn’t seem to be a well known dessert outside of New Zealand – a crime in itself –  basically it’s a cookie crumb pie shell filled with a caramel made by boiling a can of condensed milk in water for a few hours.  (Do no let it boil dry as you will have a condensed milk can explosion on your hands, seriously, DANGER).  You then top the caramel with sliced banana, whipped cream and grated chocolate.  If you’re a little slow on the up-take,  Banoffee is a play on the banana+ toffee (caramel) duh.

When I was pregnant, I made a sauce for a dinner party that included condensed milk.  PLUS sugar, butter AND cream.  Yes, it was a heart attack in a dessert sauce.  A delicious heart attack nonetheless.  If you could choose a way to go, death by caramel sauce wouldn’t be a bad option.

These days I’m a little more health conscious, a little more aware of the effects of too much sugar on my body and mind. The UP ain’t worth the down as far as I’m concerned.  I definitely have a sweet tooth, but like to satisfy it with something that is going to have a little more nutritional benefit – win and win.

I was actually trying to create a tropical-inspired sweet sauce with this recipe; you can’t deny the coconut flavour, but as soon as I tasted it, all I could think of was how much it tasted like condensed milk.  Again, correct me if I’m wrong.  Originally I made this for a girlfriend’s baby shower, served with a whopping platter of tropical fruits for dipping.  I’m digging it on top of my hot cooked cereal in the mornings, drizzled on grilled bananas and straight up out of the jar.  The dates give it ample sweetness, plus that amazing caramel-like flavour.

Caramel Cashew Cream

  • 1/2C cashews, soaked overnight in water
  • 3 medjool dates, chopped and softened with 4T boiling water
  • 1 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1/4t sea salt
  • 4T coconut milk
Drain cashews of soaking liquid.  Process in food processor until smooth.  Add dates plus liquid they were softened.  Blend again.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
If you want a thinner consistency, add extra coconut milk.  The sauce will thicken slightly once chilled.

About Lou

I'm a stay at home Mum, recipe book addict who can't stick to a recipe to save my life.

5 responses to “sweet memories”

  1. Hannah says :

    It’s definitely the combination of medjools and nuts (usually cashews!), as when I made my grandma a batch of date coconut cashew treats, her first words were “these taste like sweetened condensed milk”. 🙂 I LOVE that you’ve come with a way to use these ingredients as a topping, though! I’ve only ever made chewable treats 🙂

  2. Lou says :

    mmm chewable treats sound good too, how amazing are dates? If I could, I think I might want to marry one – is that wrong?

  3. Sarah says :

    Hmmm….taking my name in vain on here are we……. 🙂

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