Dulce_de_Leche - Milk Caramel - Recipe
This Dulce_de_Leche -rich, sweet, creamy and silky smooth milk caramel- tastes great on almost every dessert: on pancakes, bananas, ice creams, waffles, bread and butter, banoffee pie. Most Argentinean desserts include it in one or another step of their preparation or finish. And it is perfect for cakes too! Used as cake filling or as a cake cover, this versatile treat is ideal for those with a sweet tooth...
Dulce_de_Leche is a delicious way of preserving the milk during the hot summer days in the “pampas” (large cattle raising plains). Our grannies used to spend hours by the pot, stirring it continuously. The marbles trick (keep on reading...) allows us to enjoy this milk caramel without all that hard work.
The Dulce_de_Leche originated in Buenos Aires, in 1829. The story says that the Generals of two rival forces had agreed to meet each other looking forward to putting an end to their war. A very tired General Lavalle was the first one to arrive and, while waiting for his opponent, he entered into General Rosas’s tent and fell asleep on his host’s bed. When a serving woman (who was boiling milk and sugar for the camp) found the enemy inside her General’s bed, and knowing nothing of the meeting, she ran to find the soldiers. When finally General Rosas arrived, and the situation was clarified, the woman remembered the milk and sugar still on the fire. By then, it had turned into a delicious brown substance. The treaty was made while both Generals shared and enjoyed the just born Dulce_de_Leche.
Recipes: if you feel inspired, below you will find the recipe to make Dulce_de_Leche. If you are not that committed but would like to enjoy the Dulce de leche, buy it from your supermarket.
Usually, the more widely available Dulce_de_Leche is the can of Caramel (Carnation, Nestle).
Otherwise, you can boil a can of sweetened condensed milk (Carnation, Nestle) for at least 3 hours making sure that the can is ALWAYS fully covered by water.
For detailed instructions about how to make Dulce de Leche from Condensed Milk by different methods,
4 lt whole milk
1.1 kg sugar
1 vanilla pod
10 (more or less) glass marbles
1/2 tsp (for a nice brown colour) sodium bicarbonate
Place all the ingredients together in a big pot (preferably copper or aluminium pot) and take it to the cooker on high fire. Leave it to boil. Don’t worry! The mixture will not burn because the marbles will stir it continuously (my mother-in-law’s trick!).
After about 2 ¼ hours, when the mixture gets more dense and you can’t hear the marbles moving anymore, stir it manually with the help of a wooden spoon for about 30 minutes at a minimum fire, with particular care during the last 15 minutes.
When taking a spoon with the mixture on a plate and dividing it in two parts with the spoon, these two parts do not meet again, we have reached the exact end-point.
Remove the mixture from the fire and keep on stirring it for a while over a recipient with cold water until the temperature goes down (to avoid the mixture to overcook and ruin the consistency of the Caramel).
Make the hot mixture pass through a sieve (to recover the marbles and the vanilla pod) and leave it to cool down. When cold, it will be thicker than when hot. You can regulate this point by leaving it shorter or longer than the 15 minutes on the last step. Depending on the final density, you could obtain between 2-4 Kg of delicious dulce de leche to use on puddings, as cake-filling, cake cover, over ice-creams, or by itself on bread. Enjoy!
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