12 July 2010

Dulce de Leche

Let's keep this leche train rolling with another recipe from the Good Eats episode "Milk Made".  Dulce de leche.  Milk caramel!  Yum!  I was quite intrigued by this application when I first saw Alton Brown prepare it on my television.  I wanted to try it, but for some reason I hesitated.  I really don't know why it took me so long to finally make this smooth, rich, creamy, milky, caramelly sweet concoction; but I do know it won't take me so long to make it again.

Dulce de leche was really quite foreign to me.  I had seen dulce de leche flavored ice cream, cheesecake, and coffee, but none of them ever seemed enticing enough for me to try.  At the time, I really didn't know what it was.  After seeing the Good Eats episode, I finally knew what it was, but still not determined to try it.  Still, I could not escape the thought of it.  Maybe it was the shot of Alton eating it by the spoonful that kept it fresh in my mind. 

I have never had dulce de leche before this, so I really have nothing to compare it to.  It was easy and simple to make, albeit a little time consuming.  The recipe calls for basic household ingredients and I must admit that added a little vanilla extract when it was done reducing instead of using a vanilla bean.  I am happy with the results, even though I have just eaten it drizzled over ice cream or cream puffs.  I can definitely see how Alton could eat it by the spoonful.  I look forward to expanding the use of it next time I make it, though.  Perhaps I will make a dulce de leche cheesecake of my own.

Dulce de Leche
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Printable Recipe

1 quart whole milk
12 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a large, 4-quart saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the baking soda and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally, but do not re-incorporate the foam that appears on the top of the mixture. Continue to cook for 1 hour. Remove the vanilla bean after 1 hour and continue to cook until the mixture is a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.


  1. YUM! I'm surprised by the pure and simple ingredients list!

  2. I know! It's exciting to see what can be made from such few and simple ingredients.



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