Dulce de leche is a thick, creamy caramel sauce made with condensed milk and sugar. This foolproof method is NOT the traditional recipe but it gives the best results with a minimal amount of time and attention.
WARNING: this recipe is NOT a traditional dulce de leche recipe! If you are a purist, look away. If however you are open-minded and if you like to treat yourself with something sweet ready in less time than you need to say it, you will love this recipe. One more warning before we go further: dear friends, if by any chance you happen to be diabetic or if you are on diet, please look away as well, and let’s meet in my healthy section instead, where plenty of delicious recipes await you. There will be more of them, starting from next Tuesday!
Everyone has heard of dulce de leche, right? We usually buy it already ready to use, then we spread it over some thin crepes for instance. But have you ever thought of making your own dulce de leche? Do you even know what it is made of? Well, it’s pretty simple, dulce de leche is made with one ingredient. Yes, one only! So in this case is it an ingredient or a recipe?
Well, it actually becomes a recipe because all the magic happens in the transformation process of this ingredient that slowly become darker, thicker, sweeter. I won’t make you wait any longer, the ingredient is condensed milk. Sweetened condensed milk to be exact, which actually makes two ingredients but it doesn’t really count as we usually buy sweetened condensed milk at once.
To make dulce de leche, you need to cook this condensed milk for hours and hours (at least 3 hours), stirring from time to time, until it slowly thickens, become sweeter and take a darker color, close to the caramel color. It’s a matter of time, love, dedication, and patience. But we know we don’t
always often have the time to spend hours in the kitchen, waiting for the condensed milk to do the job, while staying close to it to ensure it doesn’t burn.
This is why I suggest today a foolproof dulce de leche recipe, which is extremely close to the original one when it comes to texture, flavor and color (close your eyes and do the test, It’s hard to guess!) but still not the original recipe. A lovely twist somehow. And foolproof, as there is absolutely no way you can do wrong with it. There is nothing more simple than this recipe, or almost.
So why such a recipe? Simply because I found it by accident, when baking another recipe involving this preparation (recipe to come Friday next week, stay tuned!). I tried it and immediately loved it. Everything was right: the texture, the flavor… everything. Too good not to be shared. Among my top excuses to use this foolproof dulce de leche:
- spread on my crepes when I suddenly have a craving for crepes (am I the only one with such cravings?)
- spread onto a generous slice of brioche
- sweetened my yoghurt
- use in my banana bread with dulce de leche swirls
- have the ‘excuse of the spoon’ (oops, it just fell at the bottom of the jar ; I volunteer to lick the spoon!)
In just a few minutes, adding a few more ingredients such as brown sugar, vanilla and butter, you get a similar result to the traditional dulce de leche, sparing you at least 3 hours of your time. Prepare in advance and pour into lovely jars to offer your loved ones when Christmas comes!
- 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 (14 oz / 396g) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt and bring to a boil.
- Cook, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is thick and dark, about 5 minutes.
- Pour into a 16 oz glass jar or two 8 oz ones. Unopened jars of dulce de leche can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months. When opened, transfer into the refrigerator and use within three weeks.