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- Dish type
This is a milk-based sauce popular throughout Latin America. You can eat it alone, use it to fill cakes, or serve over bananas, ice cream or any other pud!
73 people made this
- 3L (5 1/8 pints) semi skimmed milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1kg (2 lb) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr
- In a large saucepan, bring milk to the boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or muslin. Return to pan.
- Cut vanilla pod in half and add the seeds to the milk. Stir in the sugar and replace the pan on medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Just as the milk mixture begins to boil, stir in the bicarbonate of soda. Reduce the heat to medium, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. When a wooden spoon drawn through the mixture leaves the bottom of the pan visible, and the mixture is light brown in colour, remove the pan from the heat.
- Place the pan in an ice bath and stir constantly until dulce de leche is cold. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Dulce de leche is usually one sixth the size of its original volume.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(74)
Reviews in English (65)
by Justus&Dane's Mom
Something else.Previous reviewers' frustration with this recipe is probably the fault of a certain vagueness in the directions. the liquid needs to be reduced to about half its original volume. It will foam up considerably when first reaching an active simmer, and again when the baking soda is added. After that, it will be relatively well-behaved for a while and the heat can be turned up, though constant stirring will still be needed to keep the bottom from burning. When it's nearly ready, it will suddenly get very foamy again. After that, you can keep testing small samples on a chilled plate to see how much it stiffens up; if you evaporate it too far down, you may end up with something more like soft fudge -- still perfectly edible, but perhaps not what you had in mind. I'm not sure why this recipe suggests chilling the dulce de leche *before* placing in jars, which seems like an invitation for trouble of various kinds. For a start, it's much easier to scrape it out when it's still hot. One last cleanup note-- instead of tossing the sticky pot into the sink to soak off the caramel you couldn't scrape out, pour a bit of plain milk into it and gently reheat it on the stove while stirring. Hey presto: caramel-15 Sep 2008
Great recipe for authentic dulce de leche! Be sure to use a wide, deep saucepan that will allow the milk to bubble and foam a bit. I kept the mixture at a steady simmer-almost-boil the whole time, and it was ready in about 45 minutes. Also, the recipe should note that the dulce de leche is ready when a spoon leaves a path in the bottom of the pan that disappears after a second or two. Any longer and the dulce de leche will be too stiff after it cools.-15 Sep 2008
To ladies that don't know what "dulce de leche" is,I suggest them to give it a try!!,spread it over buttered toast and you'll see what I'm talking about!!. Juliana,keep converting recipes!!!.-15 Sep 2008
How to bake a dulce de leche cake
Quick, delicious and easy dessert recipes always get me to pay attention. I love to bake and to surprise my kids with cakes and cookies, but since this isn’t the healthiest of treats, I save baking desserts for special occasions. Since I also work, time is at a premium so I stick to the basics when I am juggling so many responsibilities.
However, I’ve managed to learn a trick or two. Yes, I cheat a bit by taking shortcuts, but I give it my personal touch. My kids’ favorite is a Dulce de Leche cake I make using a cake mix from a box. Not very Martha Stewart-ish, but it works. Since so many friends have asked for my recipe, I am sharing it with you. It’s actually quite simple (and inexpensive). Enjoy!
- 1 bottle of dulce de leche (or check out the original recipe for the dulce de leche recipe)
- 2 Cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 Cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 Cup of white sugar
- 5 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 Cup of milk
- 3/4 Cup of unsalted butter,room temperature
- 16 Ounce of icing sugar
- 1/2 Cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
- 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter and flour two round cake pans each 9 inches in diameter and 1-1/2 inches deep.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light.
Gradually add the sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in the vanilla.
Reduce the speed to low and, dividing the flour mixture into three batches, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk just until combined.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with clean, dry beaters and set on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten whites into the batter just until incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans smooth with the spatula.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cakes. Invert onto racks and let cool completely.
For the Frosting: In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind let cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.
To assemble the cake: Carefully slice each of the two cooled cakes in half to make four layers. Set one layer on the cake plate. Generously spread about 1/3 cup of the dulce de leche on top. Top with another cake layer and spread with another 1/3 cup of the dulce de leche. Repeat with another cake layer and top with the final forth cake layer. Set dulce de leche aside.
Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. Drizzle with remaining dulce de leche. Refrigerate until serving.
2. The Classic Dulce de Leche Recipe
This particular recipe requires a bit more work than the cheater’s version, but it yields a rich reward.
- 14 oz Condensed Milk (about 1 1/4 Cup)
- 12 oz Evaporated Milk (about 1 1/2 Cups)
- 1 TBSP Corn Syrup
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- Generous Pinch of Salt (optional but Delicious)
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- Set aside 30 to 45 minutes of uninterrupted time. This will take a while.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, pour the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and corn syrup. Add cinnamon sticks, baking soda, and salt.
- Salt may sound like a weird ingredient to add to such a sweet dessert, but it ultimately intensifies the flavor of the final product.
- Cook the mixture on a stovetop over medium to low heat. Stir the sauce constantly with a flat-edge wooden or silicone spoon. Use a flat edge soon to keep the sauce from burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Bring the sauce barely to a simmer. Do not allow the sauce to reach a full simmer. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent the sauce from overcooking.
- The mixture will darken and thicken as the sauce cooks. Stay patient. Keep stirring.
- Stay at the stove, patiently stirring for 30 to 45 minutes.
- As the mixture thickens, watch it carefully. Once it starts to form big, slow bubbles because of its thickness, you’ll know you’re near the end.
- Test the consistency of the mixture at this point. Lift the spoon out of the mixture and allow some sauce to drizzle back into the pot. If the drizzle forms a ribbon that stays on top of the sauce and doesn’t immediately absorb into the sauce, you’re done cooking it.
- Do a double check by dragging your spoon across the bottom of the pan. You should be able to see the bottom of the pot for a few seconds before the thick sauce closes on itself.
- Remove the pot from the heat and walk away for five minutes. Fish out the cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla.
- Let the dulce de leche cool completely before you use it in a recipe.
- Once you have your dulce de leche made, you can use it in any variety of recipes such as cakes, cookies, and luxurious desserts.
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One of life&rsquos simple pleasures is to spontaneously take a jar of Nutella or peanut butter and indulge in a spoonful of the delicious, creamy treat without any remorse.
Dulce de leche, literally &ldquomilk jam,&rdquo falls into this category. Growing up, I used to sneak into the kitchen to snatch a teaspoon of the sweet confection out of my mom&rsquos sight. It was one of my favorite pastimes well, if you knew her temperament, then it could probably be better described as an extreme sport. Indeed, some cravings taste better when there&rsquos adrenaline involved.
Omnipresent in every Latin American household, this smooth caramel-like confection is made by cooking down milk with added sugar for several hours. All it takes is patience and a fair amount of stirring.
The bronze sauce that&rsquos obtained is thick, sweet and rich It&rsquos often drizzled over toast, sandwiched between buttery shortbread cookies (alfajores) or just eaten straight from the jar.
Dulce de leche makes the perfect filling for babka but since baking a babka is no simple task, this recipe calls for the practicality of store-bought dulce de leche. Trust me, this approach will save you some nerves and tons of time. As the filling is very sweet, this recipe uses less sugar in the dough than many classic babka recipes. The end result is a soft, intensely flavored brioche-like babka with swirls of gooey dulce de leche flowing through it.
Photo credit: Orge Castellano
- 1 gallon milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
In a large saucepan, bring milk to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth. Return to pan.
Cut vanilla bean in half and pour the seeds in the milk. Stir in the sugar and replace the pan on medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Just as the milk mixture begins to boil, stir in the baking soda. Reduce the heat to medium, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. When a wooden spoon drawn through the mixture leaves the bottom of the pan visible, and the mixture is light brown in color, remove the pan from the heat.
Place the pan in an ice bath and stir constantly until dulce de leche is cold. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Pour into sterile jars, and store in the refrigerator.
Vanilla Bean Macarons with Dulce de Leche Buttercream
Vanilla bean and dulce de leche are the new “IT” couple!
- FOR THE MACARONS:
- 4 ounces, weight Almond Meal
- 6-⅜ ounces, weight Confectioners Sugar
- 3-⅝ ounces, weight Egg Whites, Aged At Room Temperature For 24 Hours
- ½ whole Vanilla Bean Pod, Seeds Scraped Out And Removed
- 1 ounces, weight Granulated Sugar
- FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
- ½ cups Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
- 2 cups Confectioners Sugar (Sifted)
- 3 Tablespoons Dulce De Leche
For the macarons: In a large bowl sift together almond meal and confectioners’ sugar to remove any lumps. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixing stand, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add vanilla bean seeds and slowly add granulated sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. Carefully begin incorporating dry mixture into the meringue—gently folding until all items have been integrated. This should take no more than 50 strokes.
Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe small rounds of the mixture onto Silpat lined baking sheets. Rounds should be about 1½ inches in diameter. Once baking sheets are filled, tap the sheet carefully but firmly on the counter to remove any possible air pockets. Let baking sheets sit on the counter for 45 minutes to harden the outer shell before baking.
Bake at 280 degrees F for 16-18 minutes. Transfer the pans to cooling rack and cool completely before removing shells from mats.
While shells are cooling, prepare the buttercream. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until the butter becomes thicker and stiff. Add the dulce de leche and whip until combined. If needed, add a few more spoons of confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached.
Transfer buttercream to a piping bag. Pipe some buttercream * onto the bottom of a macaron shell and sandwich with another shell. Macarons can be stored in airtight containers for 3 to 4 days.
* Note: The buttercream is on the sweeter side so I would suggest filling with only a minimal amount.
- Measure your Flour Properly to prevent a dry cake.
- Do NOT use your measuring cup as a scoop. Instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife. This prevents excess flour from being packed down into the measuring cup.
This recipe calls for cake flour and buttermilk. Since I typically don’t have those kicking around the house I always use these two substitutions.
For every cup of buttermilk required, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to each cup of whole milk. For this recipe, you will add 1 and ½ tablespoons of white vinegar to 1 and ½ cups of whole milk. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before using in the recipe. It will look curdled – this is okay.
Homemade Cake Flour
If you don’t have cake flour at home, have no fear! I have a full blog post written on making homemade cake flour with only two ingredients. Click here.
I’ve paired this vanilla cake with homemade (1 ingredient!) dulce de leche, candied pecans, and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. If you haven’t tried Swiss meringue buttercream, I highly recommend it! It is silky, light, smooth, and not too sweet. It is a little bit more labor-intensive than American buttercream, but I promise it’s worth it!
For a full guide on how to make perfect swiss meringue buttercream and how to troubleshoot problems, click here.
How to Assemble Your Cake:
- Place your first cake layer on a cardboard cake round and on top of your cake turntable.
- Pipe a ring of buttercream 1” from the outer border to the cake. This is referred to as out buttercream dam. It is going to prevent the dulce de leche filling from seeping out the side of our cake.
- Spread dulce de leche filling on the inside of the piped buttercream ring.
- Place the second cake layer on top.
- Repeat as above.
- For the final cake layer, place the cake layer bottom side up. This helps get a perfectly smooth and straight top.
- Crumb coat your cake and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Apply frosting.
- Garnish with candied pecans to the desired aesthetic!
I hope you try this delicious cake recipe for your next fall themed cake. Enjoy, and if you have any questions comment below and I’ll be sure to answer!
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Meet the insanely good Mexican caramel you really need to eat
For years, I’ve managed to turn every Mexican vacation into a working trip. As soon as I touch Mexican soil, I set up interviews, plan research tours, library searches, cooking adventures, all the while trying to tweet and Instagram. And Facebook, Pinterest and blog too… My appetite expands outrageously as if giving me a chance to try all that my eyes can see and my mind can gather. Even with the best of intentions to relax and disconnect, they only last so long.
My family had been enthusiastic about it until recently: my husband announced last summer he’s had it. He won’t travel with me to Mexico when he wants us to vacation, together.
So when I suggested we go visit for the December holidays, he said “no, no, no Pati, you can’t control yourself there.” I kept pursuing Mexico because I missed it so bad, seeking out a place where I wouldn’t be tempted to work. San Miguel de Allende sounded like just the spot.
San Miguel is a beautiful colonial town in the state of Guanajuato in central Mexico. It’s artsy, has a ton of history, gorgeous views of the mountains, quaint hotels and shops. There are a bunch of activities to do with the boys. But mostly, to my knowledge, it doesn’t have any regional food specialities to invite me to work. With this, I convinced him it was the perfect place to relax and, when it came to food, just enjoy it for once.
San Miguel is only a few hours by car from Mexico City, where we’d be picking up my mom who’d be joining us for a few days. It was in looking at the map to plan our drive that I noticed the city of Celeya is only a stone’s throw from San Miguel.
Celeya is the birthplace of cajeta: one of the most irresistible Mexican sweets. I have wanted to go since I was like five years old.
I tried to contain my very desperate need to go to Celaya the first day we were in San Miguel. As I got out of bed on the second day, the escapade to Celaya was already in the works.
Cajeta is a caramel-like concoction, yet more milky and silky, and with a deep, rustic and almost nutty flavor. It’s Mexico’s version of dulce de leche, yet we pride ourselves in that cajeta came to be long before dulce de leche and we tend to make ours with goat’s milk (or a combination of goat and cow’s milk) rather than only cow’s milk and ours has a much more intricate and richer taste.
Thankfully, the dynamic woman in charge of San Miguel tourism office has friends and family in Celaya. She knew who to ask and helped organise exactly where to go: La Tradicional de Salgado.
The storefront has sweets made with or combined with cajeta along with other traditional sweets. The side of the store is reserved for Cajeta.
At La Tradicional, Cajeta continues to be made the way they started making it in 1860, which happens to be the most traditional way. They make a small quantity, which is sold immediately after, and sometimes even before, it is bottled.
They have cajeta de vainilla (vanilla flavored and the lightest in color), cajeta quemada (translates to burnt and it is the darkest in color and flavor), and cajeta envinada (translates to flavored with wine but rather than wine it is flavored with rum).
As the manager Andrés López explained, all cajetas at La Tradicional begin the same, yet they don’t end the same.
They all start with 40 litres of fresh goat milk poured into a gigantic copper pot and mixed with brown sugar. It is then brought to a steady simmer at 120 degrees C (about 48 degrees Celcius) for most of the cooking time. If it will be vanilla flavored, then vanilla extract gets added. If it will be envinada, then a generous splash of rum goes in. If it will be burnt, it is just like the vanilla one, yet it is cooked double the time (about nine hours instead of four or five), to achieve a much more concentrated flavor and thicker consistency: to the point where if it was left to simmer for a minute longer, it would practically burn.
They always use those copper pots that get cleaned after each use and gigantic wooden spatulas. No metal spoons or utensils are used to stir the milk, as copper is a very reactive material and cajeta a sensitive product.
Those wooden spatulas are used to stir the milk regularly as it cooks down. The heat is left at a steady temperature to have a consistent medium simmer, adjusting the temperature as the cajeta reduces.
They know cajeta is ready firstly by judging for the design it leaves on the wooden tool. They have to show up after you stir and raise the spatula. Also, the mixture has to be thicker, like caramel! Lastly, as you stir the pot with the wooden spatula, there has to be a delayed trail behind the spatula, that allows you to see the bottom of the pot if only for an instant.
The cajeta is left to gently cool. The glass jars are filled up, immediately closed and turned upside down. This creates a vacuum seal.
We tasted all the cajeta and so many sweets. We stirred the pots, with our heads covered in protective nets and talked to everyone in the store. We all came out with our very favorite one and my son Juju managed to eat an entire small jar of the vanilla kind, by the spoonful.
As we walked outside, we found a city brimming with food wonders. We ate some of the best empanadas we have ever tried in a place that had, oh, about, 100 people waiting in line: there were about 30 different kinds! Half a block ahead we ate some outrageous gorditas, thin and large, they were stuffed with either spicy queso fresco or Almidón (which I had never tried: the inner part of the Chicharrón). Our Celaya hosts brought duraznos Prensados (sweet pressed apricots) for us to try as well as pastes (gummy-jelly soft squares) with such exotic flavors as guava and rompope.
At a stand, a woman was selling Celaya-made copper pots, each one more beautiful than the other. After much chatting and measuring the different sizes, I bought my very own, which I carried all the way back to DC, to start making this cajeta below, so that you can also make your very own (get the recipe here).
There’s my big copper pot, but you can use any wide-bottomed and tall pot. Goat’s milk (you can choose to combine it with or use all cow’s milk, but goat’s milk gives it that delicious musky flavor…), dark brown sugar (or shredded piloncillo) and Mexican vanilla.
Also, add baking soda: it helps the final sweet to not have any lumps and it enhances the brown color. This coloring effect is called a Maillard reaction, as described by Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is “a nonenzymatic reaction between sugars and proteins that occurs upon heating and that produces browning of some foods”.
Bring it all to a medium simmer, over a steady medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir occasionally.
After hours you can see how much the mixture has reduced and the more it reduces the more the simmer will increase even if you maintain it in the same level of heat, so you have to moderate and reduce the heat.
You know when to stop when the cajeta has thickened like caramel, its drops take their time to let go of the wooden spoon once it is raised, once you see a delayed trail in the bottom of the pot as you gently move the spoon across the pot and you can see the bottom if only for a second, and the cajeta leaves wavy marks on the spoon.
Our first dessert in our Dulce de Leche recipe list is the Millefeuille or Napoleon (it has nothing to do with France's 19th-century emperor, but more with some connections with the city of Naples in Italy). A classic of the French pastry that is very popular in different countries. Although it is a classic, it has a lot of variation, so don't worry about trying your own, but remember to always put some Dulce de Leche on it.
440 ml of Annabella Dulce de Leche
200 g of walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
For the Pastry Cream
For the pastry cream
Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl then, sift in the flour and cornflour and mix to a smooth paste.
Cut the vanilla pod and put it in a pan with the milk. Bring it to a boil.
Gradually pour the hot milk onto the egg mix, whisking to combine. Remove the vanilla pod.
Return the mixture to the pan and cook over moderate heat, whisking continuously, until it thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue whisking for one more minute.
Pour into a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to cool.
For the millefeuille or Napoleon
Preheat the oven to 180 °C/356 °F.
Cut the pastry (into circles or in squares) using a cutter.
Place the pastry on non-stick baking trays.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, checking that the base is also colored. Leave to cool.
Mix the Annabella Dulce de Leche with the brandy in a bowl.
Whisk the pastry cream and then gently stir in 2 tablespoons of the Annabella Dulce de Leche.
Take a large knife and cut each disc horizontally in half to make 2 thinner discs.
Assemble the cake on a cake board or plate.
Take the first layer of pastry and spread it with a layer of pastry cream. Place the next layer of pastry on top, spread with Annabella Dulce de Leche, and sprinkle with some chopped walnuts. Repeat this process.
Frequently Asked Questions
If not serving right away, rice pudding should be refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days.
Yes. To reheat leftover dulce de leche rice pudding, transfer it to a heavy bottom pot and reheat gently, adding a few tablespoons of milk to bring it back to a creamy consistency.
Rice pudding freezes surprisingly well, despite the fact that it contains lots of dairy. Make sure it is stored in a freezer-safe, airtight container to avoid freezer burn. It will keep for up to 3 months.
I have not tested this recipe without dairy. I know there are recipes for dairy-free sweet condensed milk and dairy-free dulce de leche out there, so you could certainly try it!