Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dulce de Leche Recipe

Dulce de leche

Dulce de leche, also known as milk jam, is prepared using just two ingredients – milk and sugar. Slowly cooking milk and sugar transforms it into something extremely delicious. It is time consuming but very easy to prepare.

Dulce de leche is popular in South America and it has even been mentioned that it originated in Argentina. Variations can be found in other parts of the world. France has confiture de lait and Norway has hamar pålegg, better known as HaPå.

I have two versions below. Version 1 of the recipe is from Alton Brown and the second version is my own. Version 1 uses more sugar. Version 2 uses less sugar and molasses is added. I find that using less sugar gives a better texture, the dulce de leche is easier to spread. Also using molasses adds a deeper flavour. Both versions are excellent in their own special ways.

Vanilla is optional. I have tried with and without and my personal preference is without vanilla.

Dulce de leche can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Ingredients (version 1)
1 litre milk
1½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (optional)

Ingredients (version 2)
1 litre milk
1 cup sugar
20 ml molasses
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (optional)

1. Combine the milk, sugar, molasses, vanilla bean and seeds in a large saucepan and place over medium heat
2. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the baking soda and stir to combine
4. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer
5. Stir occasionally, but do not re-incorporate the foam that appears on the top of the mixture
6. Continue to cook for 1 hour. Remove the vanilla bean after 1 hour and continue to cook until the mixture is a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours
7. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Dulce De Leche Sauce
To make dulce de leche sauce add a small amount of milk or cream and place pan over low heat. Heat very gently and add more milk or cream to get the desired consistency.

Since cream is thicker than milk you will need to add less milk compared with cream. As a result the sauce will have a stronger dulce de leche flavour if you use milk instead of cream.

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