Candy of milk may not sell you on the special concoction of sugar and milk that makes dulce de leche, but it is heaven on a spoon. It’s popular throughout South America, most notably Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In Chile and Ecuador you’ll find it labeled as manjar, which is Spanish for delicacy. A delicacy it is, rich, sweet and amazing on anything you add it to. It is definitely something that I will have to make once I get home, because once you’ve had dulce de leche you can’ t imagine life without it.
Dulce de Leche stuffed churros are one of the best treats in Argentina
Throughout South America this delicacy is used like honey, spread on everything, below is a short list of my favorite uses:
Stirred into oatmeal in the morning, perfect to jazz up breakfast while your camping
Topping ice cream
Drizzled over brownies to take them to the next level
Dipping fruit in it and pretending to be healthy
A decadent topping for cheesecake, or really any cake
For a salty and sweet treat dip pretzels into dulce de leche
Simply eaten by the spoonful, blissfully ignoring any concern about calories
The possibilities are endless, so the next question is how do you make this amazing treat? Well, there is the old fashioned way, outlined below or the cheaters method. Since dulce de leche is simply sweetened milk, you can take a can of sweet and condensed milk, poke a couple holes in the top and simmer it in hot water over the stove for three to four hours.
Dulce de Leche the old fashioned way
Sold at all the confectionary shops in Argentina, alfajores are delicious little cookie sandwiches with dulce de leche filling
Bring the milk to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and remove the skin that has formed on top. Repeat the process two or three more times, until the skin that forms is very thin. Add the sugar and vanilla to the milk, stir for 2 minutes until it is dissolved, and simmer over medium heat. Add the baking soda and cook for 2 minutes, then skim the foam off with a spoon. Cook the milk for 2 hours, stirring and skimming occasionally. Be careful not to stir the skin that has formed on the sides of the pot into the milk mixture, as this will cause the milk to curdle and the sugar to crystalize. The milk will thicken and darken, and should be stirred more often the darker it gets. A crust will likely have formed on the bottom of the pot, but do not disturb this when you stir. Cook the milk until it is caramel color, then pour it through a fine strainer and let it cool. The dulce de leche will thicken further on cooling an will keep in the refrigerator indefinitely.
Makes 2 cups
*recipe from A Fork in the Road by Anik See (a great read if you are interested in food and travel!)
To learn all the different ways to make Dulce de Leche, this website is a great resource