I think I am finally over my bad baking curve! Yesterday, I finally had a major victory! I made yummy, spreadable, caramelly dulce de leche!!
There is a long painful history behind my pursuit of this deliciously lusciously sweet treat. It is a struggle that has been ongoing since December, when I first moved here. I did research on the preparation of Dulce de leche, and the online community debates these three points:
- Boil a can of condensed milk for 1-2 hours
- Bake the condensed milk in a water bath
- Making it from scratch: using fresh milk, sugar, vanilla, and baking soda
Originally I started out with boiling the can of condensed milk on the stove top, but this experiment went totally a rye when I forgot to wash the can. I had poked 2 holes on the top of the can, and kept trying out my dessert as it was cooking from the top of the can… ended up with food poisoning! Also, I hated the idea that I was using a tin can to cook a lusciously luxurious dessert. At any rate, I proceeded to try boiling another can it in a water-bath in the oven… didn’t cook through – when I opened the can, the milk was still runny! I put it back in the oven, and ended up scorching it. That’s when I decided, fine, ditch the aluminum can thing and move to the next method.
In googling the topic, I found that David Lebovitz had a recipe for dulce de leche. He is one of my favorite chefs, and even moreso, because he writes accurate and understandable recipes. I learned how to make terribly delicious ice-cream from his “The Perfect Scoop“. So I thought: “If I can learn to make ice-cream, surely I can make dulce de leche!” And the rest is history!
- 400gr (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
- Pour sweetened condensed milk into a glass baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
- Set the making dish within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the baking dish.
- Cover the baking dish snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
- Once its is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth and store in open mouthed jar.
I want to share with you a little something that I learned to love and grow dependent on, when I visited your home country: “The beautiful country of Colombia.” The coffee shop chain, Juan Valdez, makes an amazing cafe con leche y arequipe (is the local name for dulce de leche), which I had everyday of my stay. Now I can make it at home everyday!!! 🙂