02 November 2012

Easy Salted Dulce de Leche

I am breaking my streak here, since this Dulce de Leche does take more than 10 minutes, but considering all the "easy" variations that are floating around out there, this one is really darn quick and terrifically easy.  Most of the homemade versions you find around take anywhere from 90 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the cooking method.  This one takes 30 minutes.

I haven't made any Dulce de Leche before because I am all for instant gratification.  I also don't like to make anything that requires my oven to be on for hours on end.  I'm not the "greenest" person around, but I think it's just wasteful.  I have made homemade caramel plenty of times on my stovetop and it takes about the same amount of time as this one, but it is definitely more hands on.  It also breaks one of my holiday treats rules -- you have to use a candy thermometer.  For this caramel you need a can opener (unless your can has a tab top), a bowl, a spoon, and a microwave.

Since salted caramel is all the rage, and just because I like it, I added salt to mine.  The addition definitely elevates this to another level from the stuff you buy in a can at the grocery store.  You gotta love that depth of flavor and the salty/sweet combination.  It's what my dreams are made of.

Use this in any recipe calling for Dulce de Leche.  You can also sandwich it between cookies, heat it up and pour it over ice cream, or just eat it.

Easy Salted Dulce de Leche
makes about 1 cup

Print me, Please!!!

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp kosher salt

mmm, mmm, salt!
Pour the condensed milk in a microwave proof bowl  (It needs to hold at least 4 cups, since the milk will bubble up during cooking).  Cook the milk on medium (50% power) for 4 minutes, stir briskly halfway through.  Once the 4 minutes are up, the milk will be very thin and smooth.  Cook on medium-low (30% power) for 24-26 minutes.  Remove the mixture and stir briskly every four minutes for the first 16 minutes, then increase the frequency of your stirring to every two minutes for the rest of the cooking time.  During this stretch of cooking, your mixture will look curdled when you take it out of the microwave, but, no worries, it will smooth out once you give it a good stir.  I took pictures so you could see the before stirring/after stirring difference.  Once your Dulce de Leche is very thick and caramel colored, stir in the salt until it is dissolved.  Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator once cooled.

see -- it looks all curdled and lumpy before you stir it

give it a couple of stirs and it's pretty and smooth again

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