One ingredient is all you need to make this dulce de leche. That’s it! Sweetened Condensed Milk. And yes, it takes a whopping 6 hours or so to turn it into “gold,” but you’ll only be involved for about 5 minutes. The rest of the time, it’ll just do “its thing” on the stove. This is the sort of cooking I do when I can do other chores at home. While I made this the other day, I also spent time reading books with my kids, making dinner, and yes, watching TV.
Here’s the deal. . . dulce de leche is divine! It’s unbelievably rich, creamy and delicious. It can be added to a plethora of baked goods or covered with chocolate. It can be drizzled over ice-cream or eaten with a spoon!
Dulce de leche is all about caramelizing, pretty much my favorite cooking technique. You can caramelize the natural sugars in most foods to bring out a deeper and more intense flavor. Whether I’ve roasted cauliflower at a high temperature to give it a beautiful golden-brown color, seared a steak to create a crisp, brown crust, or simply sautéed a piece of toast, I’m lovin’ it!
Sweetened condensed milk is cow’s milk that has had the water removed and sugar added to it. The result is a very thick, super sweet milk. When this wonderful product is cooked very slowly, it turns into dulce de leche, which literally means “milk candy.” Yum!
Remove the paper label and use a bottle opener to puncture the top of the can on two opposite sides. These holes are very important because they will keep the can from exploding during the cooking!Place a small cloth in the bottom of a sauce pot — this will keep your can from making a racket! (Your pot should be about the height of the can, or higher.)
Place the can directly on the cloth and then fill the pot with water to about 1/2-inch below the top rim of the can.Bring the water to a boil and immediately turn the flame to the lowest setting. The idea is to keep the water at a slight simmer. Let it simmer like this for 6 hours. Every 45 minutes or so, refill the water to 1/2-inch below the top rim of the can, as it will continue to evaporate. You will see a little bit of white milk ooze out of the top, and that’s OK — don’t mess with it!
Use a thick kitchen towel to remove the can from the water. Open the can with an opener, and pour the milk — which will now be a rich caramel color — into a small mixing bowl. Use a heat resistant, rubber spatula to get every bit out of the can (it will be firmer towards the bottom.) Use a metal whisk to blend until it’s smooth. This should only take a few seconds.