Good friends, I’ve decided, are like salted caramel cashew lattes: They’re sweet, unique, nice to hang out with and give you that added pick-me-up you need to get through the day. And you want to spend as much time with them as possible.
This past week has been so good for my soul. Between a few social gatherings with girlfriends, my husband having the week off of work and these lattes coming into existence, it’s been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary winter (but we’re not talking about that, remember?). It’s just been one of those times when I am extra grateful for the good in my life, you know? That I have my health, a supportive family, sweet friends and a roof over my head. I never want to take these things for granted.
That especially goes for my health. Because I am the worst at handling even the slightest inkling of illness, I make every effort to achieve balance in my diet so I can stay healthy and, therefore, be my best self in all other avenues of my life. You know hangry? Oh, do I know hangry. I also know under-caffeinated, which is equally unpretty, and so I do my best to avoid both at all times.
That’s what I love about these salted caramel cashew lattes, which are made with the new Silk Cashewmilk. I mean yes, I love the caffeinated boost they give, obvi, but they’re also the perfect match between decadent and light. There is an added level of goodness from the delicious flavor and creaminess imparted by the cashews in the Cashewmilk, along with the added calcium and vitamin D it provides. Combine that with homemade salted caramel sauce, a splash of espresso and a dollop of whipped cream and it’s easy to understand why I’ve been drinking these every afternoon for the last few days (I’m looking at you, 3 p.m., my new favorite time of day).
We’ve also been enjoying Cashewmilk poured over cereal, stirred into our regular morning java and straight from the carton. Because not only is its creamy taste and texture irresistible, it provides 50% more calcium than dairy milk with only 60 calories per serving (25% less than skim milk)*. I call that a win in both taste and treat-yo-self departments.
About that caramel sauce: don’t be intimidated about making your own. TRUST, it’s so much better than the storebought version and it’s really easy to make. I’ve never been able to make it without adding water to the mix. Some people can make caramel by heating sugar alone in a pan without making it burn; I am not those people and maybe you aren’t, either. It’s cool. We’ve still got this.
The trick, I’ve found, is to hold the pan’s handle and carefully rotate the pan above the heat on the stovetop to even out the caramelization of the sugar. It’s also helpful to use a wet pastry brush to brush down any sugar that begins to crystallize along the inside of the pan; that way, the end result doesn’t have any residual bits of sugar and is just smooth, buttery, salted caramel-y goodness. And yes, the recipe makes a good 1 1/2 cups of sauce so you have extra to pour on your ice cream/popcorn/spoon that goes directly to your mouth. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Or, you can do as I do and use it to make this drink for you and someone you love every day of the week. Because one thing that’s better than spending time with a good friend or family member is doing so over a creamy, sweet and salty, oh-so-tasty latte.
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*Silk Original Cashewmilk: 60 cal/serv; skim dairy milk: 80 cal/serv. USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 26. Data consistent with typical skim dairy milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup salted caramel sauce
- 4 ounces brewed espresso or strong brewed coffee
- 1½ cups Original Silk Cashewmilk
- Whipped cream, salted caramel sauce and salted cashews, for topping (optional)
- To make the salted caramel sauce: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Heat until sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil.
- Cook, without stirring, 5 to 7 minutes until mixture turns a deep amber color (use a wet pastry brush to brush off any sugar crystals that stick to sides of saucepan while cooking). Remove from heat.
- Whisk in heavy cream, butter and salt until melted and smooth (mixture will bubble up; this is normal).
- Divide ¼ cup salted caramel sauce between two mugs (2 tablespoons in each). Pour remaining salted caramel sauce in a bowl or jar to cool.* Pour 2 ounces brewed espresso in each mug.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm Cashewmilk until heated through. Divide between mugs (3/4 cup in each). Stir to combine.
- Top each mug with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and a sprinkle of salted cashews, if desired. Serve immediately.
- *NOTE: Recipe makes about 1½ cups salted caramel sauce. Sauce will keep in fridge, sealed, for up to 2 weeks.
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.