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Easy Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk

Condensed milk is one of those things that stir up my childhood memories. My mom would have the plain kind in her tea and sometimes coffee and she would let us kids have a sip or two. This simple sweetened vegan condensed soy milk recipe brings back those fond memories without any cows harmed. Click here for the printable recipe.

Video Tutorial for Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk

During high school and my very early “adult” years, I used to go to Hong-Kong-style cafes a lot (by a lot I mean every weekday after school or work). I used to get the same drinks every time: hot or iced milk tea, iced milk coffee or dong ying yang; which was half milk tea and half milk coffee. For meals, I would get baked “ying yang fan” which is a type of rice dish that had both white and red sauce or Red Thai Curry in a foil packet with rice. Perhaps I will try to veganize those dishes another time. For snacks, it was honey garlic chicken wings or thick deep-fried toast with sweetened condensed milk inside. It is a wonder that my arteries survived those years!

hong kong style iced milk coffee

I stopped going to those cafes when became a broke college student and later a broke college graduate. Then, I never went back after I became vegan since those places aren’t very vegan friendly.

Still, I missed having those drinks. One key ingredient was sweetened condensed milk and even though I know it is out there, I haven’t found a vegan version in my local grocery stores. Finally, I got around to veganizing that ingredient and discovered it’s just as easy as making the dairy version.

I started with ordinary store-bought unsweetened soy milk. I’m not particular about brand for this one just so long as it isn’t a reduced fat variety.

sweetened soymilk cooking on the stove

Then I added sugar. A lot of it. And boiled it down until it got really thick and goopy like the canned stuff. It took a while and it’s bit annoying as you have to stand there and watch it so it doesn’t boil over and create a sticky mess, but I thought the process was worth it.

I am not sure how long it will keep in the fridge, but I would guess about one week since that’s how long the regular canned stuff lasts once it’s opened.

Besides the drinks, sweetened condensed milk is great for dipping mantou (Chinese plain steamed buns). The recipe for those will be up soon!

vegan-condensed-milk-with-mantou-steam-bun

Printable Recipe for Vegan Condensed Milk

Vegan Condensed Milk
Condensed milk can easily be made cruelty-free by using plant-based milks such as soy, almond or coconut. This recipe calls for soy milk but can work with other plant-milks; you will just need to watch for change in timing. Please see the Notes at the bottom of this recipe for a time-saving tip.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups soy milk (regular, NOT low-fat) [473ml]
  2. 1 cup granulated white sugar [200g]
Instructions
  1. Combine the soy milk and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan. Make sure the sauce pan is large enough to accommodate a fair bit of bubbling.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Keep watch so that you can stir down or remove it from the heat when it starts to bubble up. Be careful as this can bubble over quickly and create a sticky mess.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium (or a bit lower) so that the mixture can simmer and continue to evaporate.
  4. Keep cooking until the liquid has been reduced to one cup's worth. Stir occasionally. As with cooking caramel or syrup, it's important to keep an eye on the mixture so that it doesn't bubble over. If you find the mixture bubbling up, stir it vigorously to keep the bubbles down or turn the heat down a bit. This takes about 45 minutes for me. The timing will vary depending on the brand of soy milk you choose.
  5. When the mixture has been reduced to your preference, remove it from heat and pour it into a clean heat-proof container. Let cool before using.
  6. Store for up to a week in the fridge. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. This mixture has a tendency to bubble up so keep a watchful eye on it. Towards the end of the cooking process, you may need to turn down the heat to avoid making a sticky mess!
  2. Thanks to viewer sweeteuthiedoll on YouTube for sharing this time-saving suggestion! She "used a bigger pot and because of the extra surface area, [hers] was done in minutes. Like 5-10. Definitely less than 15 though."
Mary's Test Kitchen http://www.marystestkitchen.com/
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