Posts Tagged ‘dulce de leche’

These brownies, based on a recipe by David Lebovitz, were the perfect vehicle for the dulce de leche we made a few weeks ago.  They’re made in a saucepan rather than a mixing bowl, and were much better the second day – it’s definitely worth making these the day before you need them.

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 170g dark chocolate, finely chopped, we used Callebaut 54% callets
  • 25g Dutch-process cocoa, we used Callebaut
  • 3 large (59g) eggs
  • 200g white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract
  • 140g flour
  • ¾ cup dulce de leche (DL uses 1 cup, but I didn’t want to open another jar!)

1. Preheat oven to 175C with fan.

2. Line a 20cm square brownie pan with a sheet of parchment, folding the corners so that the paper fits in neatly and comes up the sides of the pan.

3. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the chocolate and stir over very low heat until melted.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula, then stir in the sugar, vanilla and finally, the flour.

3. Scoop half the batter into the prepared pan.  Drop spoonfuls of the dulce de leche over the surface of the batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it in slightly.  Use about a third of the dulce de leche, reserving the rest for the top.

4.  Spread the remaining brownie batter over the top, then repeat the dollop and swirl process with the rest of the dulce de leche.

5. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the brownies are browned and the centre no longer feels too squidgy.  David describes it as “just-slightly firm”.

6.  Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting.  Because we used homemade dulce de leche (which was quite soft), the caramel sections of our brownies were oozy and luscious.  They really are better on day two, although it was hard to keep the boys away from them for that long!

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Dulce de leche, which means milk jam in Spanish, is a sweet, caramelly concoction made from boiling and concentrating condensed milk.  Nothing is added to the milk, but the cooking process imbues it with a rich sweetness well suited to cakes and confectionary.

My first attempt at this recipe was a complete disaster, and I’d been a little gunshy ever since.  Then my friend Ozoz, the Kitchen Butterfly, posted her recipe for making dulce de leche in the microwave.  Since I had three cans of condensed milk in the pantry, I thought it was worth a second attempt.

I emptied two cans of condensed milk (one skim, one full fat) into a large pyrex bowl.

This went into my 1100 watt microwave for :

  • 6 minutes at 50% power, whisking every two minutes, then
  • 14 minutes at 30% power, whisking every one to two minutes, or whenever the milk threatened to boil over.

Be prepared to stand by the microwave and watch this – it’s not a set and leave dish, as it can boil over in a heartbeat!

The finished dulce de leche came out of the microwave lumpy, but whisked into a smooth and silky caramel, which we spooned into sterilised glass jars and stored in the fridge.

. . . . .

The following day, I made dulce de leche truffles, dropping spoonfuls of the cold caramel into tempered chocolate.  These were pleasant, but the balance of flavours wasn’t quite right.

. . . . .

I also made dulce de leche scrolls, which were absolutely delicious – Big Boy loved these! I followed the methodology for nutella scrolls, using the sweet dough from the Pain Viennois recipe.  The dulce de leche worked particularly well with the sweet milk dough.  Prior to baking, I brushed the tops of the risen buns with eggwash and scattered over a little demerara sugar for added crunch.

. . . . .

Since the oven was on all morning, I decided to try David Lebovitz’ recipe for dulce de leche with  my last remaining tin of condensed milk.  This entailed pouring the milk into an ovenproof dish and covering it with foil, then baking it in a water bath for an hour or so at 220C.  The milk set in the oven like a soft baked custard, but was easily transformed into creamy dulce de leche with a little whisking.

What a fantastic ingredient! Maybe I need to try a Chilean Torta De Hojas next…

Edit 26/2: I was inspired by the comments below to try making dulce de leche from scratch.  Have a look here – seriously chuffed with the results!

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