Thursday, 15 March 2012

Dulce de leche

Fresh milk is delivered into local supermarkets once a week, and is good for approximately a week also. They tend to keep the previous lot on the shelves up till the "best before" date. Given that, we occasionally end up with some milk that is about to expire and I urgently need to find something to do with it. Last week we ended up with two 1-liter cartons of milk and no immediate use for it, so I decided to make something kind of new for me - Dulce de leche.
It was only new "kind of", because in my childhood a similar product "вареная сгущенка", cooked condensed milk, was a firm favourite with pretty much everybody I knew. Dulce de Leche is made from scratch with whole milk and sugar, so you end up with similar-tasting product.

I used this recipe, which was the first hit with google. It worked well, but I must note that our ideas of "simmering" are probably different somewhat. Even after three hours the liquid was not yet reduced to one fourth of the original volume, while starting to turn alarmingly dark, lot darker than in all the pictures I saw. So I decided to stop cooking, and it was probably the right moment.

I was somewhat concerned that it will start burning and I will have to stand by the cooker for all three hours stirring non-stop, but it didn't show any inclinations to do so. Neither it tried to escape form the pan, something that boiling milk tend to do. It just bubbled merrily away, and I stirred it occasionally

What I ended up with is darker and slightly more transparent than "сгущенка" from my childhood. Taste is nearly the same.

It probably is not meant to be used just like that, but a bit of dulce de leche on a piece of dry biscuit tastes good. The recipe says that it can stand for a month it the fridge. I don't think it will last that long.

sweet food photos at shuttertock