This super easy version of Dulce De Leche used only one ingredient and does not require much cooking skills. You can use just about any brand of sweetened condensed milk you have available.
My preference for this confectionery is mainly due to taste and effortlessness. It is so easy to make. Normally, I would boil the condensed milk at night and leave it to cool overnight for use the next day. I would then reheat it again the next day. Everybody loves waking up to the smell of sweet and buttery caramel in the morning.
While generally, people would say caramel and dulce de leche taste the same, I tend to liken the flavor of Dulce De Leche more, as opposed to caramel due to its dark, buttery taste and consistency – like butterscotch. I have in many occasion used this condiment as a substitute to caramel.
What is Dulce De Leche?
Dulce De Leche translates as ‘Candy Milk’. It is a popular Latin American confection made from cooking milk and sugar over a period of time, turning it into sweet caramelized goodness.
Are Dulce De Leche & Caramel The Same Thing?
By definition and methods of cooking, they are not the same thing. Caramel is made by heating up sugar until they turn brown (caramelize). Milk and butter can be added to make it more interesting however not necessary. Whilst with Dulce, it is the ‘cook down’ of milk and sugar until it is caramalized.
So, I simmered 2 cans of condensed milk this time to show how the color changes the longer you cook. One can of milk stayed in the stockpot for 1.5 hours while the second can stayed for 3 hours. Basically, the longer you cook the milk, the darker it gets and stronger it tastes. I personally prefer the darker caramel (deep caramel taste), while hubby liked the lighter caramel (sweet and light).
Each can of sweetened condensed milk makes around 300 ml caramel
The best thing about this confectionery is, there is a lot you can do with it. You can eat it on its own, or better yet; turn simple desserts into a decadent and luxurious treat.
Dulce De Leche stays fresh in the fridge for 3 weeks and can be frozen.
For experimentation purpose, I also included a can of evaporative milk into the stockpot and simmered for 3 hours. The evaporative milk did change in color (very faint light brown), however, did not change in taste and texture. Hence, I could not see any benefit from boiling evaporative milk over long periods of time (nor can you make milk caramel using it).
Dulce De Leche
- 1 Tin Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Remove the wrapping/label around an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk
- Place the can of milk into a deep pot/saucepan
- Fill the pot/saucepan with water. Make sure water to completely cover the can at all times
- Bring to boil
- Turn the heat down , cover the pot and simmer for 1 to 3 hours depending on your preference
- Carefully remove can from simmering water
- Allow can to cool completely before opening – between 3 hours to overnight
- To reheat, simply reboil unopened can of Dulce De Leche for 5 minutes
- To reheat opened can of Dulce De Leche, simply pour solid content into a microwave safe bowl and reheat in microwave on Medium (50%) in 30 seconds bursts (heat, stir, repeat until you get the consistency that you want)
- Hot caramel is HOT. If hot caramel comes into contact with your skin, it will burn. Wait for the caramel to completely cool before opening the can
- Do not heat Dulce De Leche on direct heat at it will become clumpy and dry