Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dulce de Leche (Argentinian Caramel)

"Dulce de Leche - Argentina's Legendary Dessert" the blogpost on From Argentina with Love screamed 'make me, make me'...and we did. It was the perfect end to our Argentinan feast.

Riley did a great job with this. In preparation for this dessert I told him he could choose the ice cream flavor when we were at Trader Joe's this afternoon; he selected ultra chocolate. Okay, that made it over-the-top indulgent. But it was fantastic!

Making Dulce de Leche is not difficult, but it was time-consuming; I should have looked at the recipe before I went for a run. It took hours on the stovetop to reach the right consistency. So we ended up having dessert right before the boys went to bed. Probably not the best idea, but I wasn't about to deprive them, especially since Riley made it.

According to Rebecca, the force behind the From Argentina With Love blog, there are a few ways to make Dulce de Leche, and they all give you the same basic result. I opted for the version from scratch - not surprised, right? - and was in shock that there's a version that boils a can of sweetened condensed milk while still in the can. That just sounds hazardous.

4 C milk
2 C organic granulated sugar
1 t baking soda
1 T pure vanilla extract

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add all other ingredients, stirring the sugar with a whisk until it is completely dissolved. Cook on medium low until it turns into caramel, about 2-3 hours. It should have a rich tan or brown color and smooth texture when done. Consistency is a matter of preference. Some like their dulce de leche runny, like a sauce; others like it thick.

Ours was a little gritty because Riley didn't whisk as well as he should have, but he's still learning the kitchen ropes. He proudly served his Dulce de Leche atop chocolate ice cream.

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