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Dulce de Leche


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#61 ruthcooks

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 12:58 AM

The boil in the can method of caramelizing condensed milk is very dangerous. For years, the manufacturers have warned against it. Here is one example:

Eagle Brand Recipe

For your own and your family's safety, try one of the other methods. There is one I didn't see mentioned: remove label and can lid, cover with foil and bake in oven.
I'm not sure how long.
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#62 MelissaH

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 08:44 AM

The "boil in can" method is only dangerous if you let the water boil away so that the can is no longer completely submerged in the water. At atmospheric pressure, the water temperature can't get above 100 degrees C, or 212 degrees F. However, steam can get much hotter than that, which is where you run into problems. I suppose it's also possible for the bottom of the pot to get hotter, which is another reason to put a dishcloth or trivet in the bottom of the pot.

If you're careful to be sure that the water level stays well over the can, just as many of the early posts in this thread say, boiling in the can shouldn't be a problem. The safety note in the link that ruthcooks points to looks like a CYA kind of link, as in "We don't recommend you do this, because it may be unsafe if you don't do it properly, and we don't want to be sued."

I like the crock pot idea. Might need to investigate that one myself.

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#63 sazji

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 09:07 AM

I made a batch today from scratch. It came out quite well but could be darker; I stopped because it was beginning to stick on the bottom of the pot. I may try some of it in the oven. It certainly does foam up, doesn't it?! :)

I heat my house with a wood/coal stove, and keep a tall aluminum closed pitcher (called a güğüm, for anyone who cares) on the top to have hot water always ready. When the stove is cranking, the thing boils, so perhaps I'll just drop my last can (it's not available in Turkey) of sweetened condensed into it and see how it works! If it does explode, it will be well-contained.
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#64 FoodMan

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 03:11 PM

If you are really concerned about the cans blowing up, then try this. It is a method I picked up from the "Pastry Queen" book. Basically puncture two holes in the lids and stand the cans upright, 3/4 covered with water, in a pot. Boil them till the bubbling milk from the cans (and it will bubble through the holes) is dark caramel color. Works fine but you see the downside, right? No way to store the cans in your pantry for later use...you know with holes and all. I like the boiling method much better if you have no time for the time consuming but oh so good real stuff.

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#65 jaredrakes

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 06:48 PM

I find this last point about storing in pantry for later use intriguing...could I really do a bunch and store them at room temp?
It seems that storing boiled cans of most anything is a pretty safe idea...but then, I'm not one to AssUMe about matters of botulism et al.
If not the shelf, how about the fridge for still-sealed cans?

#66 PoppySeedBagel

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 02:19 PM

Banoffee Pie was invented by a restaurant called The Hungry Monk at Jevington in Sussex (SE England) in about 1970. It's been doing the rounds in UK ever since. It is horribly sickly, but in small quantities is delicious.

One other use for the dulce de leche is chocolate caramel shortbread - as it sounds - make a batch of butter shortbread, and bake in a shallow tin. Top with your caramel, and then when that's cool, with melted chocolate. It's surprisingly nice when made with really good dark chocolate.

#67 FoodMan

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 03:04 PM

I find this last point about storing in pantry for later use intriguing...could I really do a bunch and store them at room temp?
It seems that storing boiled cans of most anything is a pretty safe idea...but then, I'm not one to AssUMe about matters of botulism et al.
If not the shelf, how about the fridge for still-sealed cans?

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Storing them in the pantry is no problem. Now, if one of them starts bulging or swelling for some reason, then throw it away immediatly. I have never had a problem and neither should you.

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#68 cricklewood

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 10:57 PM

Hello I am interested in making dulce from scratch(not with condensed milk) I am planning on using goats milk and putting it in a mason jar and then in the immersion circulator for 10-12 hours or until it achieves ther right color and consistence. My question is the recipes I have seen include baking powder or soda I believe, does anyone know what this contributes to the final product?

#69 HQAntithesis

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 04:09 AM

I was wondering if there was perhaps a faster way to make smaller quantities of dulce de leche from condensed milk. Could you perhaps just pour it into a saucepan and heat, while stirring occasionally, then continuosly stirring as it gets closer to the desired colour/consistency? Or does it burn/scald if you do it that way?

#70 ablosh

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 11:18 PM

I was wondering if there was perhaps a faster way to make smaller quantities of dulce de leche from condensed milk. Could you perhaps just pour it into a saucepan and heat, while stirring occasionally, then continuosly stirring as it gets closer to the desired colour/consistency? Or does it burn/scald if you do it that way?

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I tried that...and I personally didn't notice the difference (but I am a super sugar freak so my tastebuds might not be so reliable). The thing with using it in a saucepan is that it takes a LOOONG while of you standing by the stove and babysitting the condensed milk with frequent stirring...


I don't have that much patience. :hmmm:
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#71 HQAntithesis

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 12:16 AM

I experimented today: doing it over the naked flame didn't work for me. As soon as it came to a reasonable the temperature the condensed milk in contact with the bottom of the saucepan would burn and as you kept stirring it you'd get bits of burnt condensed milk floating around in the saucepan. Not so good hehe. I also tried putting the rest of the condensed milk in a saucepan of boiling water that came up to the sides. It worked ok but the level of the water needed to be kept higher than the level of the condensed milk almost all the time, which I didn't do, resulting in the upper layer being slightly thick while the bottom was nicely caramelised.

#72 DiH

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 07:50 AM

I too was wary of boiling cans so what I did was to vacuum seal the contents into a boiling bag using my trusty FoodSaver. Worked great! :biggrin:



Di

#73 miladyinsanity

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 08:03 AM

Oh excellent idea Di! When I get around to trying this, that's what I'll do. And you can even poke it to test the consistency, LOL.
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#74 NickLam

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 10:00 AM

There is a much quicker way.

Use a pressure cooker as they do in Brazil, it's called "doce de leite" in Portuguese.

Place a can of sweetened condensed milk (paper label removed) in the pressure cooker with water going halfway up the can.
Do not use the rack and avoid dented cans.

Bring up to pressure (15 lb) and depending on the desired consistency:
15 minutes is enough for a soft, spreadable consistency.
25 minutes will give you a thicker, darker product.
Any longer and you'll be able to slice it.

Slowly release the pan's pressure and just let it be.
Cool to room temperature before attempting to open the can.

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Has anyone tried the pressure cooker method yet? I just tried the boiling method on 5 cans and they bulged up slightly and though they are still taking forever to cool down in the tropical heat, they have returned to normal shape. I'm tempted to open it......but hehehe caught the BIG WARNING on the first page. Having a non-existent knowledge in physics.........how safe is pressure cooking it?

#75 sazji

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 02:01 PM

I made a batch from scratch, it came out wonderfully. I made a smaller batch a few days later for some friends at their restaurant, using a wide-bottomed pan, and discovered that slower is better. When I made my own, I used a tall pot, and had to boil it slower because it foams quite a bit and would overflow at higher heat. In the big pan, it got quite thick before it was too brown, so much that it stuck the teeth together of one of the guys who tried it. :) We added a bit more milk and brought it back to the right consistency, lowered the heat and darkened it nicely.

I tried the boiling method in a big container on my woodstove. The first time it never got to a boil, so I left it in longer and tried it the next day. Well...it doesn't have to boil. :) The heat close to the bottom of the pan evidently got things pretty hot, because when I opened the can, it was dark, like chocolate, and tasted pretty weird...there can definitely be too much caramelization!
"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."
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#76 Pookie

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 06:50 AM

I tried this last night. No explosions and it tastes great! I do wonder if I left it for too long though because it's really thick. I may have to get out the mixer and give it a good whip tonight with a little milk to thin it down to a more pourable state.


I have to admit to being nervous though. I spent the whole time it was in the kitchen in the furthest part of the house!

#77 andiesenji

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 09:41 AM

Hello I am interested in making dulce from scratch(not with condensed milk) I am planning on using goats milk and putting it in a mason jar and then in the immersion circulator for 10-12 hours or until it achieves ther right color and consistence. My question is the recipes I have seen include baking powder or soda I believe, does anyone know what this contributes to the final product?

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Sorry that I didn't see your post earlier:

Here is an authentic Mexican recipe as made by Mrs. Obregon, my neighbor, who loves her slow-cooker which she says is muy sympatico.

DULCE DE LECHE - SLOW COOKER

1 Mexican (or other) vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups regular goat milk, do not use low fat
2 cups regular milk
1 2/3 cups cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
dissolved in
¼ cup water

Mix the milk together in a quart measure.
Pour 3 cups of the milk (refrigerate the remaining cup) into the slow cooker and add the vanilla bean and sugar and turn heat control to high and mix with a whisk to make sure the sugar has dissolved.
As soon as the mixtue has warmed to about 140 degrees, add the water with the baking soda and whisk again.

Do not cover the cooker.
Continue cooking for about 8 hours, gently stirring about every 2 hours.
Remove the vanilla bean, wash it and set it aside to dry and stick it into your sugar canister to flavor the sugar.
Meanwhile, with a silicone high temp spatula, scrape down the crust that has formed on the sides and stir it into the mixture.
If foam forms do not remove it, simply stir down into the mixture.

Reduce the temperature to medium and continued cooking. Stir occasionally, about every 15-20 minutes until the mixture has thickened, it should pour like honey.
This should take about 2 hours.
Near the end of this time, warm the remaining cup of milk in a small saucepan then stir into the mixture in the slow cooker. Mix well and transfer to a sterilized quart jar and place the cap lightly on the jar, do not seal.
Allow it to cool to room temperature then tighten cap and refrigerate.
It will keep for three months in the refrigerator.

P.S. I have added this to RecipeGullet

Edited by andiesenji, 25 February 2006 - 09:46 AM.

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#78 Soup

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:12 PM

Saw this on "ham on the street" where you make dulche de leche from a can of sweeten condense milk by simmering the can in water for 3 hours.

I did a search on the web and different recipe provide conflicting info. First on the can, should it be covered in water? Does the can get a hole at the top to let the pressure out (yes to this make the previous question moot, I know)? Does it really have to go for 3 hours (one recipe called for 6 hours)? Any way to shorten the time? That is a long time for my family to wait for a dessert?

Recipe and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Soup

#79 orangewasabi

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:18 PM

Hi,
this really does work well

cover the can with water -- no hole in the can

boil, ensure the water stays covering the can (I do it for more than 2 hours -- I like it pretty thick and brown)

let it cool, THEN open the can

(personally, I do a couple cans at once and just boil it while I am doing laundry and other schtuff)

It tastes realllly good.

k!

#80 KatieLoeb

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:19 PM

Saw this on "ham on the street" where you make dulche de leche from a can of sweeten condense milk by simmering the can in water for 3 hours. 

I did a search on the web and different recipe provide conflicting info.  First on the can, should it be covered in water?  Does the can get a hole at the top to let the pressure out (yes to this make the previous question moot, I know)?  Does it really have to go for 3 hours (one recipe called for 6 hours)?   Any way to shorten the time?  That is a long time for my family to wait for a dessert?

Recipe and guidance would be greatly appreciated. 

Soup

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You need to make it ahead of time anyway, because the cans have to cool down so you can open them and not have a hot sticky explosion on your hands.

The good news is it keeps on the shelf already made, so you can boil several cans at once and always have it at the ready.

edited to add:

orangewasabi and I cross-posted the same info.

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#81 Nina C.

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:20 PM

My Chilean friend taught me to make it this way. Put a tea towel, folded in the bottom of the pot. Place can on tea towel, and fill the pot with water, covering the can completely. Simmer. The longer you simmer, the darker and thicker the caramel will get. I've done it for as little as probably an hour and a half, or as long as 4 hours - never 6.

My American mother used to have coniptions to see me putting her dish towels and a can on the stove (I think she thought the can would blow up) but she changed her tune when she tasted the results. :wub:
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#82 Soup

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:37 PM

So, Can will not explode? Great. Lets say I make a bunch ahead of time. I am then assuming the contents are shelf stable and I can put it back in the pantry for a few months?

I'm surprised that the manufactures don't sell the stuff already made. I can't wait to give it a try.

#83 Ann_T

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:52 PM

I'm guessing that it is possible for the can to explode since Eagle Brand recommends not heating an unopened can. They provide a couple of other methods on their website.

Eagle Brand Condensed Milk


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#84 Nina C.

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 05:04 PM

So, Can will not explode?  Great.  Lets say I make a bunch ahead of time.  I am then assuming the contents are shelf stable and I can put it back in the pantry for a few months?

I'm surprised that the manufactures don't sell the stuff already made.  I can't wait to give it a try.

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Um - disclaimer - I have not personally had a can explode, nor do I know of anyone who has. That doesn't mean it won't! But I do cover the can fully with water and make sure it stays that way.

They do sell the stuff already made - look for dulce de leche, manjar or cajeta. Even smuckers makes a version now - no idea how good it is.
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#85 godito

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 09:25 PM

Simmer. The longer you simmer, the darker and thicker the caramel will get. I've done it for as little as probably an hour and a half, or as long as 4 hours - never 6.


yeah, that's how I ususally do it. I don't let it simmer for more than a couple of hours, as I don't like it so thick.

They do sell the stuff already made - look for dulce de leche, manjar or cajeta. Even smuckers makes a version now - no idea how good it is


Right on! However I did have some trouble finding it in many places while living in the states. Latin American markets should carry it. Of course, they are not made starting with condensed milk. They are done the traditional way: reduce milk with sugar whisking constantly until it turns dark and rich. They they add some flavorings (like vanilla... I add a little rum to mine :wink: ) I like this method better. Of course, here in South America, there's no need to do it, as you can find tasty store bought alternatives.
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#86 zephyrus

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 11:17 AM

I have had the best luck with dulce de leche by taking one can of sweetened condensed milk, one can of evaporated milk, a vanilla bean and a few cinnamon sticks, combining all of them and simmering over low heat for about 30 minutes. continue stirring the entire time and remove from the stove when the mixture develops the consistency of soft caramel. i have found the flavor to be superior to the simmer in the can method...


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#87 Yasmine Sandhu

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 02:52 PM

I've had great success with the following method from David Lebovitz.
It's very simple and not too scary either.

Just remember to properly whisk up the condensed milk after it comes out of the oven for that lovely and luscious consistency.

#88 FistFullaRoux

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 03:41 PM

The operative term here is "simmer". Not boil. Boiling raises the internal temperature to 212, which causes steam. Steam make things go boom.

Simmering at a lower temperature takes longer, but it is safe, as long as you do not reach the boiling point. It's really almost more like poaching. The goal is to caramelize the sugars in the condensed milk. The only way to do that in a sealed can is to slowly raise the internal temp to less than 212, then slowly allow the can (and it's contents) to return to room temp before opening. The pressure will be regulated by that.

Sealed cans are heated all the time, just at the factory under highly controlled conditions. The tea towel as listed above gives you a buffer zone so the water is heating the can not the bottom of the pot in contact with the flame/element.

I just thought of something. Could you do this in a crock pot? If it has a low enough setting, you wouldn't even have to use a burner on the stove. Methinks research is in order...
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#89 Toliver

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 05:24 PM

I think the crock pot method was mentioned in a past Dulce de Leche thread but don't quote me on that.
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#90 andiesenji

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 05:57 PM

I posted a recipe I got from my neighbor and it is delicious. It is far more complex in flavor than the sweetened condensed milk stuff.

I took some to an eGullet potluck a couple of years ago and everyone who tasted it thought it was great.

Dulce de Leche from scratch.
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