Dulce de Leche
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Dulce de Leche (pronounced "DOOL-se de LE-che) is rich and sweet caramelized milk. Classic Dulce de Leche is simple to make with a rich caramel taste; however it does have a fairly long cooking time. Another version of Dulce de Leche uses purchased cans of sweetened condensed milk and this makes equally delicious Dulce de Leche.

I have provided both the classic and sweetened condensed milk methods below. The sweetened condensed milk method #1 allows you more control over the thickness of the finished Dulce de Leche. Method #2 is cooked in the can and a little more difficult to judge doneness.

From Wikipedia: Dulce de Leche is a South American confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a substance that derives its taste from the Maillard reaction, changing flavor and color. Literally translated, it means "candy of milk" or "candy [made] of milk", "milk candy", or "milk jam" in the same way that dulce de frutilla is strawberry jam. It is popular in Latin America, notably in Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. The dulce de leche of El Salvador has a soft, crumbly texture, with an almost crystallized form. Mexico had versions as manjar (vanilla flavored) or cajeta which is made from goat's milk. In Cuba, dulce de leche is made from soured milk that's curdled and then sweetened. In the Dominican Republic it is made with equal parts milk and sugar with cinnamon, and the texture is more like fudge. In Puerto Rico dulce de leche is sometimes made with unsweetened coconut milk.
Recipe type: Dessert Sauce
Serves: 1 to 2 cups
Ingredients
Classic Method:
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sweetened Condensed Milk Method:
  • 1 or 2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Tip: 1 can will yield approximately 1 cup Dulce de Leche, 2 cans will yield approximately 2 cups.
Instructions
Classic Method:
  1. In a medium size, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar. With the pan uncovered, bring the mixture to a simmer to dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  2. Add the baking soda and stir to combine.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, uncovered, with the mixture just barely simmering. Stir mixture every 10 to 15 minutes with a rubber spatula in a figure eights pattern around the edge of the pan and into the center, making sure to scrape the rubber spatula across the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for 3 to 4 hours total or until the mixture is a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 1 to 1½ cups.
  4. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let Dulce de Leche cool to room temperature, stirring frequently while cooling. Use immediately or place in a sealed container and refrigerate.
Sweetened Condensed Milk Method #1:
  1. Empty the milk into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl (stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl) on top of the simmering water; the upper pan should not touch the water.
  2. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes with a rubber spatula in a figure eights pattern around the edge of the pan and into the center, making sure to scrape the rubber spatula across the bottom of the pan.
  3. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for 3 to 4 hours total or until the mixture is thick with an amber color.
  4. Remove pan from the heat. Let Dulce de Leche cool to room temperature, stirring frequently while cooling. Use immediately or place in a sealed container and refrigerate.
Sweetened Condensed Milk Method #2:
  1. Remove the paper wrapper from the can of sweetened condensed milk. Clean the top of the can, and use a can opener to make two small punctures on opposite sides of the top of the can. Set the can of milk in a medium size saucepan, puncture side up, and fill the saucepan with water to reach two-thirds up the sides of the can.
  2. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat until the water is simmering. A bit of milk will probably seep out of the small holes you made in the can. With the pan covered, simmer the milk about 1 hour and the milk pooled on top of the can has turned a deep golden brown. Add extra water to the pan if necessary while the water is simmering to keep the water level the same.
  3. When done cooking, carefully remove the can from the hot water and let set for several minutes to cool slightly, or just leave the can in the hot water until cooled before removing. Use a can opener to carefully open the can and spoon the cooked milk into a bowl. The milk should have a pudding like consistency. Let cool completely then cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Tip: Do not simmer the can without first making the punctures in the top of the can. Otherwise the can may explode because the milk expands as it is heated.
Adapted from: Food Network/Alton Brown; Martha Stewart, Martha Bakes; Wikipedia
Recipe Notes
Equipment: Medium Heavy Pan with Lid Method: Stovetop Yield: 1 to 2 Cups Storage: Cover and Refrigerate
Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/gluten-free-baking/dulce-de-leche/