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Dulce de Leche


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196 replies to this topic

#31 kthull

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 10:58 AM

Mottmott, it's called StirChef and you can read more about it at www.stirchef.com.

As for whether it works...no idea. The site doesn't sell the product, but does list where you can purchase it.

If you get it, let us know how it does the job!

#32 fredbram

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 12:31 PM

WOW, if you're going to this much trouble, why not just make the real thing:

3 liters milk
800 gr sugar
1 vanilla pod
1/2 tea baking soda

Boil the milk, add the sugar, vanilla and bicarbonate - boil again on high heat and stir with wooden spoon continuosly until it thickens and becomes golden caramel colour - spoon out a small amount, if it's not runny, it's ready - dip the base of the pot in ice water. stir a bit more an leave to cool.

This usually takes under and hour.

The stuff in the can is good, but it's a totally different animal to dulce de leche, we call it telegoo (don't know why..)

I am interested in comparing the canned and the from scratch. It sounds from the lack of response that no-one else that is on this thread has made it from scratch. I am going to give it a try and I'll report back. Thanks for the recipe. Telegoo :huh:
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#33 ladygoat

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 05:08 PM

I tried the canned way the other day. I put the can of sweetened condensed milk in a crock pot with a lot of water, on high, for about 5 hours. Here is the result:
Posted Image

It was pretty thick, more caramel-ish than syrup-y, but it was pretty good. We're going to try to make them into balls and cover them with chocolate.

#34 fredbram

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 07:49 AM

I made a batch of Dulce de Leche following your formula, Sandra. It took a little longer than an hour, but I might have been cooking it slower.
I also cooked a can following boil can in water approach.
My initial reaction to a taste test is that the scratch made tasted a little better, the can had a little off flavor in a side by side comparison, although the difference was minor. The bigger difference was textural. The scratch made Dulce had a more syrup-like stickiness to it, while the canned was almost creamier. It's not that one was thicker than the other, just different. I have to say that I preferred the texture of the canned a little more, and preferred the flavor of the scratch a little more.
Of course, this was anything but a controlled experiment. The canned was somewhat darker--was it cooked further? Maybe somehow the method of cooking it in the can caramelizes the milk without reducing it as much, therefore accounting for the textural difference?
As of now my conclusion is that they are both pretty close to each other, and both delicious. Since I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the Dulce(besides eating on ice cream every night), I don't know whether one might be better for some uses than the other. The Jamie Oliver recipe sounds interesting is it possible for someone to post it?
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#35 MGLloyd

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 08:54 AM

Of course, this was anything but a controlled experiment. The canned was somewhat darker--was it cooked further? Maybe somehow the method of cooking it in the can caramelizes the milk without reducing it as much, therefore accounting for the textural difference?

I wonder if the difference in color and texture between canned and scratch can be accounted for the pastuerization or other heat processing that the canned product undergoes after sealing. So from that perspective, is the canned product already very slightly cooked or the proteins heat denatured as compared to the scratch made product?

But as you say, there are already so many variables in the experiment, it is difficult to say with certainty.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd
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#36 Toliver

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 09:39 AM

A big pot with lots of water can sit at barely simmering for 4 hours without any attention. Then you can just put the cans in the pantry.

fifi and everyone who's done this,
Do you have to weigh the cans down so they stay in place? I'm assuming they're heavy enough not to float so they will stay submerged. But say you're just doing one or two cans. Or does it not even matter, just as long as they're covered with water?

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#37 FoodMan

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 09:50 AM

I made only one can and it IS heavy enough to sink. You do not need to weigh it down.


The Jamie Oliver recipe sounds interesting is it possible for someone to post it?


First I would like to thanak you for posting the experiment's results. I think I expected such results and I do think it is worth it to boil a few cans at a time and store them so u can use them for whatever, whenever you like. My next project with the stuff is to try and make a Dulce De Leche ice cream similar to that of Haagen Daaz (Hey, one can dream!!!).
As for the Jamie Oliver recipe, it is wonderful. I can paraphrase it when I get home and hacve the book handy if you like. All it is is a baked mini-tart shell filled with banana, Dulce De Leche, and topped with espresso whip cream and caramalized almonds.


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#38 Yong Tae Kim

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:20 PM

I am trying to make some 'alfajores' that I used to eat in South America and the recipe calls for dulce de leche for the filling.

A quick internet search turned up three methods of preparing dulce de leche at home.

The first method is making it from scratch with milk and sugar and cooking it until it turns brown in color.

The second method calls for submerging a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water that is brought to simmer for a predetermined amount of time.

The third method involves cooking the sweetened condensed milk that has been poured into a double boiler until it turns brown in color.

The second and third methods appear to be easier to implement, especially the second method. However, my concern with the second method is the type of can that the condensed milk is packaged in. Is there a possibility of the can exploding if I use a can that has a 'pull-top' kind of opening method rather than the traditional can that requires a can opener to open?

Has anyone tried the third method, and could this double boiler be replaced by a slow cooker instead?

Thanks for any suggestions!

#39 scott123

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 12:58 AM

I would avoid using the pull top can for any in-can cooking method. During cooking the inside of the can reaches a higher pressure than the force needed to pull the cover off. I highly doubt the covered wouldn't explode.

#40 GG Mora

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 08:04 AM

There's also this thread. About half way down the second page are results of a test I did, with photos, comparing the different cooking methods.

My Argentinian friend reports that at home, they would put a handful of glass marbles in the pot of simmering DdL to minimize the buildup of sludge on the bottom and sides of the pan. This is for the version starting with whole milk. She also reports that they would thicken it with a little cornstarch to use when filling alfajores.

Any moderators reading this? Should these threads be combined into a master all-inclusive Dulce de Leche thread?

#41 achevres

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 12:13 PM

I made alfajores with dulce de leche some time ago. They were a huge hit at 2 separate parties. I suggest you assemble them close to serving time--not the day before. I made mine small and cut them with the large end of a cake decorating tip and then filled them by putting the dulce de leche in a pastry bag and piping the filling.

After an extensive internet and cookbook search I decided to be brave and make the dulce de leche by simmering the unopened can in a pot of water for 2-3 hours. Put the can on its side and make sure its covered with water at all times. Use a regular can-not pop-top. It was delicious, cheap and (almost too) easy.

This is the way South Americans have been making it at home for decades, with no problems.

Frankly, I think the other recipes seem too much work for something you can buy for a few dollars more.

Good luck!!

#42 gingerly

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 12:48 PM

just to confuse things-i made a batch by simmering a couple of pull top cans-3hours-gently!turned out pretty good too. :smile:

#43 Yong Tae Kim

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 05:42 PM

Thank you all for the helpful responses. I found the links to the previous dulce de leche discussions at EGullet very informative.

The sweetened condensed milk products that I can buy here in Korea come in pull-top cans or squeeze bottles.

Taking Gingerly's experience in making dulce de leche from a pull-top can, I will try boiling it with the can lying on its side so that any rupture will not shoot upwards.

Achevres's description of alfajores sounds different from the one I remember eating in Paraguay. Mine is a sandwich made of two corn starch based cookies with a dulce de leche filling and the sides also covered with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut flakes. I guess there are different versions of alfajores in South America.

#44 achevres

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:38 AM

Just to clarify... the alfajores I made were "real," a cornstarch cookie sandwich filled with dulce de leche, only I made them small. I read about the coconut version but chose not to do it to make them less messy to eat at a party.

Let us know how your alfajores turn out!

#45 ravum

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 06:49 PM

I plan to make dulce de leche from a saveur recipe posted earlier on egullet.

Was wondering what the baking soda actually does?

Does it improve texture/flavor/shelf life?

#46 scott123

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 07:50 AM

The four most common uses I've seen for baking soda are

1. Leavening
2. Mitigating acidic flavors
3. Creating conditions favorable to browning.
4. Keeping the color of green veggies green during cooking (not recommended)

Without having the recipe in front of me, my best guess would be 3. Creating conditions favorable to browning, as browning occurs faster in an alkaline environment.

#47 ravum

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 09:19 AM

This is a link to the recipe

http://www.saveur.co...5254&typeID=120

I didnt know about baking soda helping browning.That seems to be the reason for its use in DDL.

I plan to make it with and without the soda to figure out how much of a difference the soda makes.If it affects browning,it might be quite a bit.

#48 andiesenji

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 09:24 AM

I saw this thread yesterday and went over to my neighbor who makes the stuff from scratch. I posted her recipe a few days ago. She says the soda is to keep the mixture from becoming grainy.
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#49 slkinsey

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 09:27 AM

Interesting. Almost everyone I know who makes dulce de leche simply boils an unopened can of condensed milk.
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#50 andiesenji

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 09:31 AM

Once you try the traditional stuff you will know why some people like to make it from scratch. There is a world of difference in the product.
Have you ever tried the real stuff that comes in a jar or in little tins?
The flavor is far more complex with a hint of the bitterness one gets with true sugar carmelization.
I used to make the canned stuff but haven't for years. It is really so easy to do it in the crockpot that I would much rather do that. I don't ever want to settle for second best when I know a better product can be obtained with a little more effort.
However that is just old, obsessive me!!!

Edited by andiesenji, 31 October 2004 - 09:32 AM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#51 maremosso

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 10:53 AM

I haven't a clue as to why on earth Dulce de Leche should contain baking soda.
All I know, having just spent six months in Buenos Aires, is that the local supermarkets' shelves there absolutely groan with a huge variety of brands of ready-made Dulce de Leche.
My favorite, by far, is Parmalat. And home-made doesn't taste anything like it.
But I still don't know if it contains baking soda.

#52 maremosso

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 10:59 AM

I should have added that I have often made it at home, just by the usual method of boiling cans of condensed milk. Up to now it's never turned grainy, and it becomes darker and fudgier the longer you boil it - anything between 2 and a half hours to 4 hours.
Still, Parmalat brand rules!

#53 andiesenji

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 11:28 AM

I should have added that I have often made it at home, just by the usual method of boiling cans of condensed milk. Up to now it's never turned grainy, and it becomes darker and fudgier the longer you boil it - anything between 2 and a half hours to 4 hours.
Still, Parmalat brand rules!

View Post


I don't think I have ever tried Parmalat. I used to buy their non-fridge, shelf-stored milk but it disappeared from stores several months back when there was a problem with a factory.

Have you ever tried Guerrero y Meza?
It is difficult to find, even here, but occasionally the carniceria near my home has it - they keep it at the checkout stand as it comes in little, easy pocketable, tins. It has a picture of a smiling goat on the label but the text is all in Spanish and I read only a little. It is made in Iguala, Mexico.

It is the best I have ever tried, except for Mrs. Obregon's.
It has so many layered flavors that one moment it tastes like caramel and the next like chocolate, there there is a slightly smokey flavor that sneaks in at the end. They had it last year about this time and I bought a box for the Hispanic kids that come around for trick or treat because they would much rather have that than candy.

Timer just went off, back to my cooking....
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#54 tan319

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 12:07 PM

I've only used baking soda when making Cajeta, which is basically caramelized goats milk.
Not quite as thick as pure dulce de leche, and tangier.
I do my dulce de leche as I learned from my time in Latino kitchens, which was baking sweetened condensed milk in a bain marie.
Now I just boil the cans, which takes less eyeballing and has a better texture, to my eyes ans palate.
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#55 ravum

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 01:47 PM

I made DDL without the soda.

Result- Caramelly sweetened condensed milk.It wasnt grainy at all but positively not the color GG Mora has posted here:
http://forums.egulle..... saveur&st=30

The color was the same as SCM.Definitely no chocolate notes or smokiness.Chewy and caramelly.Not overly sweet as SCM.

I will try the soda version and post the results.

Edited by ravum, 31 October 2004 - 01:51 PM.


#56 Redsugar

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 03:47 PM

Are these the ingredients for the Saveur recipe?

5 cups of milk, 1½ cups of sugar, 1 vanilla bean & 1 tsp of baking soda.


Baking soda (chemical compound: NaHCO3) is an alkali; when mixed with a acid liquid (in this case, the lactic & amino acids in milk), it releases CO2 gas. In the present discussion, we have a basic emphasis: viz., the incorporation of baking soda counteracts any hyperacidity in the pan mixture because it’s a neutralizer. Consequently, alkaline bonds in the acids react with the sugar molecules to enhance the caramelization process, which might otherwise be slightly inhibited. Science broadly attributes the caramelization reaction to a range of browning reactions and flavor development. Essentially, caramelization is the application of heat to the point the sugars dehydrate, breakdown, and polymerize.

Supposedly, due to the neutralizing effect, there will be a balanced taste in the finished product.

One must be careful not to add too much baking soda to any recipe because one of its end products is salt. Originally, baking soda was referred to as saleratus – a portmanteau word based on two Latin terms: "sal" (salt) and "aeratus" (aerated.)

Edited by Redsugar, 31 October 2004 - 03:52 PM.

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#57 ablosh

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 06:53 PM

I use Dulce de Leche as filling for my banana breads, cakes, brownies...etc. I've also recently tried it with my basic baked cheesecake.

However, the cheesecake had a vague taste of a flan/creme caramel...not sure if that was a good thing.
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#58 2010

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 11:53 AM

I've made dulce de leche like this (submerged in water and boiled for 2-3 hours) and it works out just fine. I was taught by an English chef that introduced me to Banoffi Pie. I've never had an explosion occur although I was skeptical about the method when I first heard about it. :hmmm: Just be sure to always have the cans submerged. I used to boil 4-5 cans at a time so I always had de leche ready when needed and I'd date the cans of when they were made because obviously, the labels are removed prior to boiling.

I used the de leche to make Banoffi Brulee. Mmmm, it was a staple on the dessert menu for a long while. :wub:

#59 A Patric

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 02:34 PM

I boiled some the other day for about 4 hours and 30 minutes after reading about the method here. It was thick and malleable. It had a carmel flavor that had an almost coffee-like note. I can vouch for it tasting good!

Alan

#60 ALTAF

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:19 PM

My first attempt for dulce de leche was succesfull using the boiled cans method, but it took me 2 houres( Of course the gas vinished ) and i used it for a banoffee pie.

ANY ONE KNOWS HOW TO SPELL: DULCE DE LECHE?