Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dulce de Licious!

Dulce de leche translates from the Spanish to "sweet milk" or "milk candy" but that is so weak a translation for such a rich and decadent treat!  Dulce de leche is a thick, lush caramel made from either canned sweetened condensed milk or fresh on your stove top from whole milk, sugar, and baking soda.

I used the latter method a couple of weeks ago using Alton Brown's recipe here, although I substituted about a teaspoon of vanilla extract (added at the end) rather than pricey vanilla beans.

I ended up with a smooth, deep caramel which was very tasty, but I must admit that I like the version made with sweetened condensed milk better.  The canned version is also much thicker than my stove top version was.

My 84-year-old mom said that her mother used to make this caramel by simmering an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk for several hours.  She made it once for our family and it is delicious, but I'm afraid to try it because the can could explode.  In a Google search, I found this article which offers several alternate ways to make the caramel.   Fortunately, I live in an area where there is a large Hispanic population, and I can often find canned dulce de leche in the grocery store (sometimes in Walmart but especially in a store called Fiesta which carries a lot of international food items).

When I find this treasure, I buy a few cans because it keeps for awhile.  I love it straight up (did I just admit that?) or over ice cream.  This time, though, I wanted to try something a little more adventurous:

Velvety Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
(click here to print)

14 oz. can dulce de leche (or make your own)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
6 egg yolks
dash salt

Combine cream, milk, sugar and salt and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.

Whisk the egg yolks and dulce de leche until well combined.  Add about 1/4 cup of the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.  Add back to the cream mixture.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Pour this ice cream base through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl.

Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep a skin from forming and refrigerate until very cold, several hours or overnight.

Pour cold ice cream base into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's recommendations.  I used my Cuisinart ice cream machine that I picked up for $5 at a garage sale.

It took 30 minutes or so to freeze.  I threw in a few bittersweet chocolate chips, but I think I would leave them out next time.

Remove ice cream from canister and spread into an airtight, shallow plastic container, hopefully a little neater than I did!

 Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ripen by freezing overnight or until solid.  Enjoy!

It's Dulce de Licious!

Linking to:

It's a Keeper

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


Miz Helen said...

Hi Vicki,
This is a great post! Your research and your photos are awesome. I called my husband in to take a look at this recipe (he is the ice cream man), we can't wait to try this. It will be delicious! Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!

Miz Helen said...

You are featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. You are welcome to pick up your Red Plate if you like.
Miz Helen