Dulce de Leche

Recently, I’ve had Dulce de Leche (or Confiture de lait) in several different desserts… First the outstanding crepes at Novocento, which I’ve recreated here. Then Dulce de Leche Gelato in Rome. Lastly, Dulce de Leche wedding cake at a wedding we photographed this past weekend. Although I’ve never been one to eat Dulce de Leche, that really took the cake… pun intended.

Since I had no recipe for Dulce de Leche, I scoured the internet. 99% of the recipes called to *gasp* boil a can of Condensed Milk for a few hours! I don’t know about you, but the thought of boiling a can of condensed milk gives me nightmares of shrapnel and canned milk flying all over my kitchen in the likely event the can explodes. No thank you.

So I set out to find a recipe that uses milk and sugar, as they should be the main ingredients in Dulce de Leche. I did find several, but the amount of sugar called for was outrageous. Most recipes called for 1 liter of milk and 500 grams of sugar. In lay terms… that’s a shitload of sugar. So I used 2 liters of milk and 750 grams of sugar, and it turned out fabulous. It is extremely sweet, but that’s the nature of the sweet beast.

One HUGE warning though… make sure your temperature is not too high while it cooks. At one point, I walked away and the pot boiled over. Looking at the hardened blackened sugar, I thought I ruined my new stove. Glass top stoves do not take well to burning sugar. It took 45 minutes of scrubbing (and a tear or two while I cursed Dulce de Leche) to remove all the residue from my stove top. Luckily, with my beloved Bar Keepers Friend, I managed to remove all of the burned sugar. That stuff is the shizna.

Dulce de Leche (Confiture de lait) Recipe

1/2 gallon whole organic milk
26 1/2 oz sugar (by weight)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

1. Combine milk, sugar and salt in a large pot. The pot needs to be big enough so it won’t boil over. I suggest you have at least 4 inches above the liquid. Bring to a boil,stirring often and lower the temperature to simmer.

2. Let simmer, stirring frequently, for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours until golden brown and thick. Mine took closer to 3 1/2 hours, but that might be because of my boil over incident. Stir in the vanilla paste at the very end.

Note: If you are using a vanilla bean, scrape and add at the beginning.

Note 2: If you’re not sure if the Dulce de Leche is thick enough, spoon a little bit onto a small plate and let cool completetly to check the texture. It should be very thick and glossy.

Makes about 3 cups

Dulce de Leche Crepes

1 Recipe Crepes
1-2 tbsp dulce de leche, per crepe

1. Prepare crepes according to the link above. Drizzle about 1-2 tbsp slightly warm dulce de leche in the center of the crepe and fold into desired shape.

Makes 8 crepes