Dulce de Leche is a cross between a candy and a dessert sauce, this caramel is wonderful, whether served over ice cream, cakes or pies. Perfect when blended into ice cream, too.
- 1 (14 ounce) can of condensed milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk (about 1 2/3 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- generous pinch of salt (optional)
- cinnamon sticks (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Place the evaporated milk and the condensed milk in your heaviest pot. Add the cinnamon sticks, baking soda and a pinch of salt. (Salt is not traditional but helps intensify the flavor).
- Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly. The water will begin to evaporate as steam.
- Stir steadily with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Adjust the temperature so that the mixture stays just barely at a simmer.
- The mixture will begin to thicken and darken in color. The foamy bubbles on the surface will disappear.
- Keep stirring! This is the part the requires patience. Call a friend, listen to the radio, have a cup of coffee...
- Tip: If you need to leave the mixture unattended for a few minutes, remove it from the heat until you are ready to continue.
- Continue to stir until the mixture is making large bubbles, is very thick, and is a golden caramel color. It's very important to stir constantly at this point to prevent burning.
- Tip: If the mixture starts to stick to the bottom and burn, you can quickly pour it into a clean pot. If there are burnt pieces visible in the mixture, strain it through a fine mesh sieve as you pour it into the new pot. Lower the heat a little and continue cooking and stirring.
- Lift the spoon out of the pot and drizzle some of the caramel sauce over the surface. If it forms a ribbon that does not disappear after 10 seconds or so, it is ready.
- You can also check for doneness by dragging the spoon along the bottom of the pot. You should be able to see the bottom of the pot for a few seconds before the mixture closes in on itself and covers the bottom again.
- The mixture will have been simmering for 30-45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla and the corn syrup.
- Let cool completely.
- Serving Suggestions:
- Dulce de leche is delicious by itself, as a topping for ice cream, spread between cake layers, or even spread on toast. It's the filling for the popular sandwich cookies alfajores.
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