Who doesn't enjoy a creamy and tasty dulce de leche, either with a spoonful or in a delicious dessert? Did you know that it is super easy to make this delicacy so Minas Gerais (and traditional throughout South America) at home? In most recipes, simply cook the condensed milk until it turns into a dark paste. You can also make dulce de leche with regular milk and sugar.
Method 1 of 3: Cooking Condensed Milk
Step 1. Take the label off a can of condensed milk
Buy condensed milk at the supermarket, near other processed dairy products. Remove as much of the label as you can. To remove the glue from the can, use a damp sponge.
- Use a condensed milk from a brand you already know and like.
- Buy several cans if you want to make a large amount of dulce de leche.
Step 2. Place the can in the pan and cover it with water
Place the can in the bottom of the pan and add water until it exceeds at least 5 cm. The pot must have a good depth for the can to stand upright.
- Do not fill the pot to the brim or the water will overflow when it starts to boil.
- Depending on the size of the pan, you can place several cans at the same time and optimize the production of dulce de leche.
- If the water is already hot, it should boil faster.
Step 3. Bring the water to a boil over high heat
Light a high heat and wait for the water to boil. When the bubbles start to rise to the surface, turn the heat down and let the water continue to boil.
Step 4. Leave the pan on low heat for two to three hours
When the water boils, turn the heat to low so it doesn't bubble so much. Wait another two or three hours, depending on the texture and color you want for the dulce de leche.
The longer the condensed milk cooks, the darker it becomes. For the softest and lightest dulce de leche, remove the can from the heat after two hours. Wait longer if you enjoy one more solid dark candy. Want to speed things up? Use a pressure cooker. Once it gets the pressure, cook the can for about 30 minutes. Then wait for the pressure to come off naturally before opening the pan. Much faster, no?
Step 5. Use a tong to remove the can from the pan
After the condensed milk has cooked long enough, take the can out of the pan with a tongs, interrupting the cooking process so that the dulce de leche has the consistency you want.
Step 6. Allow the can to cool completely before handling it
After taking it out of the pan, put it in a safe place and let it cool, which can take several hours.
- Do not try to open the can while it is still hot. The contents are under pressure and if you open it early enough, the dulce de leche can splash on you and cause a burn.
- When opening the can, the candy should have a thick, pasty consistency and drain easily.
Step 7. Store the unopened can at room temperature for up to three months
If the can is closed, the dulce de leche remains fresh for up to three months at room temperature. Just put it in a closet and use it whenever you want.
If you open the can, place the contents in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three weeks
Method 2 of 3: Cooking Condensed Milk in the Oven
Step 1. Place the condensed milk in a 20 cm x 20 cm tin
Open the can and pour its contents into a baking dish. Spread the condensed milk with a spoon or spatula to cover the entire bottom of the pan.
It is possible to use several cans to make a larger amount of dulce de leche. Just be careful not to overfill the pan
Step 2. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil
Cut a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover the shape. Stretch the aluminum foil and secure it to the sides of the baking sheet so that it stays firmly in place while the condensed milk cooks.
Step 3. Place this pan inside another larger pan
The largest form must hold the baking sheet with the sweet without lack of space. It should also have higher sides than the first one so that the water to be added does not overflow.
For a 20 cm x 20 cm pan, a 25 cm x 30 cm baking pan is enough
Step 4. Add water until it reaches ¾ of the height of the smallest form
The water must be around the first shape. When it starts to boil, the sugar in the condensed milk is reduced.
You can add water to any temperature, but if it's already hot, it can speed up the process
Step 5. Cook the condensed milk at 220°C for 90 minutes
Keep an eye on the water level while cooking. If it evaporates, add more with a pitcher until it reaches the desired level.
Do you think you don't have the firmness to put the pan filled with water inside the oven without spilling it? Place the empty form and use a pitcher to pour the water
Step 6. Take the pan from the oven and stir the dulce de leche
After 90 minutes, the condensed milk should reduce enough to become dulce de leche. Finish by removing the sheet of aluminum foil and stirring the pasty content with a spatula or spoon until it is smooth. Dismantle any lumps that may have formed.
- The dulce de leche should have a full-bodied, creamy consistency and a caramel color.
- You can also blend the candy in a blender if you want it to be very smooth.
Step 7. Refrigerate the dulce de leche for up to three weeks
Don't want to consume it right away? Store it in the refrigerator. Transfer the dulce de leche to an airtight glass container or jar and place it in the refrigerator. If properly stored, it lasts for three weeks.
Method 3 of 3: Making dulce de leche with regular milk
Step 1. Place 1 liter of whole milk in a pan
It should be big enough that the milk doesn't spill when it boils. 1 liter of milk makes about 1 cup of dulce de leche, so use a larger amount to make more sweet.
You can also use another type of milk to try a different flavor. Coconut milk is a good vegan option and goat milk results in a unique sweet
Step 2. Add 1 cup of sugar
Want an even sweeter dulce de leche? Add 1 ¼ cup of sugar. If you prefer something lighter, reduce to ¾ cup sugar.
You can also add a different taste with vanilla. Add a bean or 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
Step 3. Stir this mixture over medium heat
Place the pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar completely dissolves.
After the sugar has dissolved, you can add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to keep the milk from curdling. This step is optional, but it can make the dulce de leche creamier
Step 4. Let the milk boil for an hour and a half to two hours, stirring constantly
After all the sugar has dissolved, lower the heat to medium and let the contents cook. Always stir to help reduce the milk and to prevent it from burning.
- As the milk is reduced, it changes from white to caramel. This is a sign that the dulce de leche is almost ready.
- The preparation time required depends on the color you want. Prefer a lighter dulce de leche? Let it cook for 90 minutes. For those who like a darker candy, wait two hours.
Step 5. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool
Place the pan on an unlit stove burner and let the candy cool. Stir it one last time while it cools.
- This technique leaves the dulce de leche with more solid pieces, but it is normal. It still has a creamy consistency.
- Anyone who enjoys a very creamy dulce de leche can pass it through a sieve to remove the small pieces. This step is optional and does not affect the final result.
Step 6. Place the candy in an airtight glass jar and refrigerate it for up to three weeks
If you are not going to consume the dulce de leche immediately, store it for a few weeks. Transfer the contents of the pan to an airtight glass or container and place it in the refrigerator. Stored correctly, the candy can last for about three weeks.