Thursday, October 4, 2007

Dulce de Leche

I love dulce de leche. Love, love, love it. I have ever since I had it at Marini's Empanada House in Houston's Montrose back in the '70's. Which was, by the way, a horrifying neighborhood to be in as a young gay teen. The clones were out in force and, because they were the only gays you ever saw or heard of, the inescapable conclusion was, "Oh my god, I'm going to have to be like that when I grow up." Ahem. Anyway, those empanadas were worth it.

Teen trauma aside, here's the recipe, which I received from a secret agent raised in Argentina (no lie!):


1 can sweetened condensed milk

Place in stock pot, cover with water and boil for 5 hours. Periodically add water to keep the level above the top of the can. Remove can from water (with tongs, of course) and let cool. Open can and stir to get a smooth, creamy consistency.

That's it. Essentially, boil the can for 5 hours. It seems that the can acts as a double boiler, carmelizing the milk and sugar without burning. I mentioned this method once to a friend who was a pastry chef and she had never heard of it. In her kitchens, they would use a real double boiler and have to stir it all day in the kitchen.

Even better - because the can is sealed airtight, you can put it on the shelf. I make it 4 cans at a time and save the ones I don't need for a recipe right away. Also, if you're really craving something sweet, you can eat it with a spoon.

I made this because a) I just received a new deep stock pot from my dad and stepmother for my birthday (the deeper pot means I don't have to check the water level as often) and b) I'm going to need it for the most awesome cake ever.

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