Dulce de leche: South America’s most delicious idea yet. It is a thick, creamy spread that is made by slowly heating sweetened condensed milk, and while it can easily be homemade, some find the idea of buying it canned in the store even simpler. Dulce de leche is hot on the food scene these days, and it stars in a number of decadent dessert recipes that can make just about anybody’s mouth water. Today we’re showcasing one fool-proof way to make the sauce on your own, and then giving you five different ways to incorporate the spread into your desserts. Whether you make dulce de leche homemade or buy it at the store, just make sure you do one of the two, because after you taste one of these five dessert recipes that require the sauce, you’ll never look at South America-inspired desserts the same way again.
First up, as we promised, here’s Chow’s simple tutorial on making your own dulce de leche. As long as you have time and patience, you’re not going to mess this up.
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Directions: Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange a rack in the middle. Pour milk into a pie plate and sprinkle with salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and add enough hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 1 hour.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the pie plate. Carefully uncover the plate and whisk the mixture until smooth, about 1 minute. Replace the foil and return the pie plate to the water in the roasting pan. Place back in the oven, adding more hot water so that it remains halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Continue to bake until the dulce de leche is dark golden brown (about the color of peanut butter), about 1 1/2 hours more.
Remove from the oven and transfer the pie plate to a wire rack. Remove the foil and whisk the dulce de leche until smooth, about 3 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container with a tightfitting lid for up to 1 week.