Quick & Easy Caramel Recipe - Heavenly Dulce De Leche
Caramel of the Gods
I first came across this by accident, and didn't know quite what I was sampling, but I knew it was good. Some cans of sweetened condensed milk had been unintentionally exposed to heat and when I at first opened them, I thought they were spoiled. After a cautious sniff or two, I realized they were not soured, even though the contents had turned an odd color for milk - a pale, brownish color.
The semi-solid mass slid out of the can with an unappetizing plop and quivered gently in the bottom of the bowl. Not an impressive beginning to our love affair, but, unwilling to judge a book by its cover, or a sweet by its plop, I decided to venture a small nibble.
One bite, and I was hooked! I have since come to know this wonderful caramel-flavored treat as Dulce de Leche. Literally translated, this means Sweetness of, or from Milk - Milk Candy - and is one of the most decadently divine caramel treats I have ever tasted.
How To Make Dulce De Leche (Milk Candy)
Stove Top Method:
- Puncture the lids of two cans of sweetened condensed milk, but do not open them
- Place the unopened cans into a pot large enough to hold them.
- Add water to just under top of lids and simmer over medium-high heat
- Reduce the heat and gently simmer for about 2 hours. Keep an extra pot of boiling water on the side to replenish the water that evaporates. The cans of condensed milk should always be almost covered by water.
- When done, let the cans cool in the water bath. When cooled, remove the cans.
- Open the cans, and serve.
- Empty the can of condensed milk (or the milk and sugar mixture) into a small saucepan.
- Place on on medium-low heat, stirring continuously.
- Remove from heat when you can turn a cooled tablespoon of it upside down without it falling off the spoon
- Empty the sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave-safe bowl
- Microwave on medium power for two minutes
- Remove from microwave and stir with a wire whisk. Be careful as the mixture and bowl will be very hot and remain that way throughout the process.
- Microwave on medium power for another two minutes
- Remove and stir again.
Microwave on medium-low power for 16 to 24 minutes or until milk turns thick and caramel color, stirring every few minutes
Do not over cook as it will turn into a solid mass of caramel – tasty, but solid
- Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C)
- Pour the condensed milk or mixture into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish
- Set the baking dish in a bain marie, or a water bath - a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, with add hot water added until it reaches halfway up the side of the baking dish
- Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 - 1 1/4 hours
- Check during baking and add more water to the roasting pan if needed
- Remove baking dish from the bain marie and let cool
Whisk dulce de leche until smooth
- Cajeta - Mexican version of dulce de leche made of half goat's milk and half cow's milk - named after the small wooden boxes it in which it was packed
- Dominican style - made by mixing equal parts of whole milk and brown sugar and simmering over medium heat to the consistency of thick yogurt, then poured into molds to set for several hours; texture similar to fudge
- Cortada - common in Cuban cuisine, generally eaten alone; lumpy texture
- Manjar Blanco - popular in Peru and Chile
- Confiture de lait – a specialty of the Normandy region of France; mix whole milk with one half its weight in sugar; boil mixture briefly then cook over low heat for several hours
- "Boiled Condensed Milk" - in Russia, it is very popular as a filling in nut-shaped cookies, to hold the two halves together in the shape of a round nut