Alison Roman's Tahini Caramel
March 31, 2023

Alison Roman's Tahini Caramel

This recipe comes from Alison Roman's beautiful new cookbook, Sweet Enough. This vegan caramel sauce is especially delicious drizzled over a bowl of ice cream, though we'd be lying if we said we didn't eat it straight off the spoon!

"I love this caramel so much for anyone, but especially those abstaining from dairy but who don't want to miss out on a creamy, silky, salty caramel sauce. The tahini takes the place of both the butter and the heavy cream, although you'd never guess either was missing. For those who are tahini averse, know that it's not overpowering. Caramelized sugar already has strong nutty, borderline bitter notes; the tahini only adds to the chorus while adding fat, which translates to creaminess."

1 c/220 g sugar
⅔ c/160 g Seed + Mill Organic Tahini
Kosher salt or flaky sea salt

Makes about 2½ cups


  1. In a heavy, medium pot, heat ½ cup/110g of the sugar over medium heat. Once the sugar starts to melt and liquefy, gently stir the sugar using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until it's a nice golden-brown color, 2-4 minutes. (You want this to happen slowly to prevent the risk of burning.)
  2. Scatter the remaining ½ cup/110 g of sugar on top and cook until all the sugar is totally liquefied and a dark amber color, like good maple syrup, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Slowly stir in ⅔ c/160 mL of water, taking care not to add it all at once or the sugar will seize. Then add the tahini, mixing to blend well. Bring the whole thing to a simmer to emulsify the tahini into the sauce, season with salt, and remove from the heat. 

Do Ahead

It's dairy-free, so will ostensibly keep in your refrigerator for a long time. Because I'm not the FDA, let's call it 3 months, but I'll bet it's fine for much longer than that.

Sweet Enough” Copyright © 2023 by Alison Roman. Photographs copyright © 2023 by Chris Bernabeo. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.”