“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is two weeks.” – Totie Fields
Dulce De Leche or other names Confiture De Lait or Cajeta, is a staple in sweet preparations found in Argentina and all over South America. It is a wonderful blend of rich caramel, custard and fudge all rolled into one. The inferior but easy way of making Dulce De Leche is by slowly heating sweetened condensed milk in a can and placing it in simmering water then allowing the milk to brown and caramelize.
I definitely prefer this traditional method and while it is by no means difficult it does require for you to gently stir often and not to leave the simmering milk as it reduces and evaporates. Total cooking time takes about 60 minutes or until the milk has reduced, thickened and turned a deep golden brown colour. Once made, it can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.
To soften, slowly warm in the microwave for a few seconds or pop on the stove. Dulce De Leche can be used when making or topped over ice-cream, sandwiched in between homemade cookies, filling for tarts, swirled through brownies, mixed with custard and whipped cream when filling choux pastry for éclairs or drizzled over banana pancakes and more. YUM!
Makes approximately 350 ml (1 ½ cups)
- 4 cups (1 litre) full cream milk (cow’s or goat’s milk)
- ¾ cup (150 grams) caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (from health food shop)
- ½ teaspoon bi-carb soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Put milk, sugar, corn syrup, bi-carb soda and salt in a large, heavy 8 litre saucepan. Place over medium and bring just to a boil. (Watch carefully, as once the milk begins to boil it will foam and begin to rise, if it rises too much you can lower the heat or move off the stove for a moment.) Stir with a wooden spoon and continue heating the milk till you have a low rolling simmer.
- Continue to cook the milk, stirring the bottom and sides of the saucepan often to avoid any burning at the bottom. Slowly the milk will change from foaming to light beige then a deep rich dark caramel brown, takes approximately an hour. Its ready when reduced to approximately 300 to 350 mls.
- Remove from heat and if necessary strain through a sieve, finally stir in the vanilla extract.
- Allow to cool before storing in airtight container then refrigerate.
- 5. Note: I usually double the recipe and if you wish to do the same please allow extra time over the stove as more quantity means more time for the milk to reduce and evaporate.