Making homemade dulce de leche is a delightful exercise in patience and precision. This grandma’s recipe embraces the simplicity of this traditional Latin American treat, which has been enjoyed for generations. Here’s a recap and a few additional tips to consider:
- 1 liter whole milk
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
- Combine Milk and Sugar: In a large saucepan, combine the milk and sugar. It’s important to use a pan with a heavy bottom to distribute heat more evenly and reduce the chance of scorching.
- Dissolve Sugar: Place the pan over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Add Baking Powder: Stir in the baking powder. This will cause the mixture to bubble and rise, so make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate the expanding mixture.
- Simmer and Stir: Reduce the heat to low. Continue to stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan. Keep this up for about 2 hours, or until the mixture begins to turn a light brown color.
- Add Vanilla: Stir in the vanilla essence and continue to cook for another 30 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and turned a dark brown color.
- Cool Down: Remove the pan from heat and allow the dulce de leche to cool to room temperature.
- Store: Once it has cooled down, you can transfer it into a jar and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. The dulce de leche should last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
- Consistent Stirring: The key to achieving the perfect texture is constant stirring. This prevents burning and ensures an even caramelization.
- Pot Size: As the mixture will bubble and expand, choose a larger pot than you think you’ll need.
- Heat Control: Keep the heat low enough so that the mixture is at a gentle simmer rather than a full boil. This will also help prevent scorching.
- Taste Test: For an even more personalized touch, you could taste-test towards the end to see if you want to add more vanilla or even a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors.
Dulce de leche is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of desserts or simply enjoyed on its own. This traditional recipe is a testament to the timeless deliciousness that only requires simple ingredients and a little time. Enjoy your cooking journey back to your childhood with this scrumptious dulce de leche!