Anyone who visits Argentina will quickly notice that people here are obsessed with the scruptiously sweet, smooth and creamy milk concoction that is dulce de leche. And who can blame them? Dulce de leche bring much joy to Argentines. Despite the fact that we relish it straight out of the jar, dulce de leche is best savored with cookies and pastries, flan, even toast, but the possibilities are endless.
Although you can buy dulce de leche at any local grocery store, making it at home need not be a daunting task.
The following dulce de leche recipe is one that combines the best ratio of ingredients (in my humble opinion). Keep in mind that you can adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste. I prefer mine a little bit less sweet so I’ve reduced the sugar by approximately 100 grams in this recipe. Although I doubt the dulce de leche will have time to expire before you lick the jar clean, I’d recommend eating it within one month.
- 2 liters whole milk
- 600g sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda*
Add the milk, sugar and baking soda to a pot large enough so there is some space between the top of the milk and the top of the pot, and place it over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer for approximately 2 hours. It is important to keep the heat very low because the milk will boil over and the sugars may burn if you’re not careful. When in doubt, turn the heat down (the worst that happens is you increase the cooking time). Stir occasionally, but be careful not to stir in any foam that may have formed on the surface of the milk mixture. After 2 hours check your mixture. It should be turning a color similar to caramel. You will most likely have to cook it for another hour or so, until it has a deeper color and the consistency of a loose but smooth caramel. At this point you can either whisk the dulce de leche or strain it to make sure it is entirely smooth. Once this is done, place it in a jar and let it cool. When it is completely cooled, store the dulce de leche in the fridge.
*baking soda prevents the milk from curdling, leading to a smoother end product and creating a deeper caramel color