Am I the only one who thought dulche de leche was caramel? I was wrong! I found this out via Gretchen over at Woodland Bakery last week! ACK! Who knew?! Lots of people use caramel in its place, or call it caramel but it technically isn't caramel! Anyway, I wanted to give this a try because, duh, I had to, that is why! It looked beyond delicious. But here is where my scatterbrain tendencies came in. Umm, what am I going to do with it when I am done?
Good question. You can put this on ice cream, in coffee, frost brownies or cake with it, I mean, the options are endless. I might have accidentally dropped a spoonful into my coffee this morning. (actually it was on the way to my mouth and slipped off into my coffee if I am honest)
Dulche de leche is distinctly different tasting than caramel, to me anyway. It is not quite as sweet, but just beautiful in texture and flavor. I can't wait to figure out what I am going to do with this.
Admittedly it is a bit of a long process to make. It will take you about an hour from start to finish. This is one of "those" recipes, where you better get something good up on Pandora, or your Ipod, or somewhere and get your groove on. Consider it the opportunity to give a one hour in home vocal concert, OR dance show. The choice is yours. It isn't complicated, at all, just time consuming. Thanks Gretchen for educating me and for the recipe!
You will need:
4 cups whole milk
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Use a large heavy bottomed pot for this. It will bubble up a lot!! Bring your milk to a boil, once it is boiling, add brown sugar, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Using a whisk combine all ingredients. Reduce to a simmer and let the singing/dancing begin. You can NOT walk away from this. You just can't. I mean you can, but, don't say I didn't tell you so.
You will need a slotted spoon to skim the foam off the top ever so often. Make sure to do this! Whisk every couple of minutes or when it needs it and let continue to simmer until it becomes dark and eventually thickens. If you don't keep this at an active simmer it will take longer! Be patient. I mean REALLY patient. It will be so worth it.
When it become thick, like maybe a pudding or a bit looser than pudding, strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits that may have cooked on the bottom, then, pour into a bowl and let cool. Refrigerate, it will continue to thicken the longer it is in there!!
This is when your imagination takes over. Use it for something amazing! I know what I am doing with mine!!!