Dulce de Leche

25 Jun

Argentineans, Paraguayans, even Brazilians love their dulce de leche… I know because I just came from a trip in which I almost ate dulce de leche on a daily basis. And the dulce de leche I am talking about is the dulce de leche known in México as cajeta, made from cooked and reduced sweetened milk. Sometimes it’s made from cow’s milk, sometimes from goat’s milk, but every time it’s exquisitely delicious.

There are aisles full of different brands of dulce de leche at every store we visited in Argentina, Paraguay or Brazil. The most popular brands in Paraguay, which is where we stayed the longest, are Trebol and Lactolanda. With their factory very close to Coronel Oviedo, Lactolanda was certainly the most popular brand we ate throughout our trip.

We ate dulce de leche with everything…. On its own, over crackers, with passion fruit mousse… even with queso paraguay. When I am on a trip, I forget about watching my weight and I ate dulce de leche to my heart’s content.

But when I am at home, it’s a different story… My mom once bought a tub of Lactolanda from one of her earlier trips that sat on my kitchen counter for almost 2 years. I am a dulce de leche lover, but I can see the dulce de leche on my kitchen counter and not be hypnotized by it until I finish it all.

But once I a while I do like my sweet fix… Once in a while I crave dulce de leche with a passion. And what do you do when you get a craving and you don’t have a tub of Lactolanda’s dulce de leche waiting in your counter??? You make it yourself…


1 can of sweetened condensed milk

Yep… one ingredient.

  1. All you need to do is fill a pot with water and place the can of condensed milk inside. Make sure the water covers the can completely. Cover the pot and bring the water to a rolling boil.

2.  Once the water boils aggressively, you can lower the heat to medium-low with cover still on to keep it boiling but to avoid the water from evaporating all away. Let it boil for 1 hour.

3.  After one hour of boiling, carefully flip the can upside down to allow the other side to milk inside to cook evenly. If the water has evaporated that the top of the can is not submerged, add some additional water to the pot. Leave it covered so it starts boiling again fast. Let it boil for another hour.

4.  After the second hour has passed. Turn the heat off the stove and leave the can in the water with the pot uncovered.

5.  Allow the water to cool off a bit for about 1 extra hour. Carefully, take the can out of the hot water and allow it to cool off some more for about an extra hour or so.

I advise you not to open the can immediately because the condensed milk inside that now is converted to dulce de leche is EXTREMELY HOT and you can certainly burn yourself when the pressure and steam created inside the can shoots out the moment you open the can. It oozes super hot like lava and you don’t want a sugar burn…

After you feel the can is cool enough to handle… open it with a can opener and serve as you please. Some ideas are:

As a dipping sauce for crispas…

Inside a crepe…

Over toast or cookies…

Over ice cream…

Or just take a spoon and eat away… and to be honest, who needs a spoon when you have hands, right???


11 Responses to “Dulce de Leche”

  1. Carol Smith Ferguson June 25, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Look what you’ve done. I just went and dug a can of sweetened condensed mik out of the pantry.

    • KarmaFree Cooking June 25, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Ja Ja Ja Ja!!!!!! Carol… it’s all in moderation!!! Hope you share it and do not enjoy it all by yourself!!!! Madelyn.

  2. Jeannette Quiñones-Cantore June 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    he tratado de hacerlo de esta manera pero no le encuentro el mismo saborcito original del dulce de leche argentino, casi siempre lo compro para hacerle alfajores de maicena a mi esposo 🙂

    • KarmaFree Cooking June 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      Jeanette, it’s possible that the Argentinean dulce de leche is made with some other milk, instead of cow’s milk. That would change the flavor somewhat. But if you don;t have that version readily available for your alfajores, this method is very reliable and won’t let you down. Madelyn

  3. Riquísimo PR June 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    El dulce de leche (cajeta) es delicioso. Tuve la oportunidad de probar el de Celaya, México, que es la meca de la cajeta en este país. Nunca otro me hecho recordar el sabor, aunque la cajeta Coronado es muy buen sustituto.

  4. Sujeiry August 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Wait, what?! That’s how people make dulce the leche? Why did I think it was so complicated? Good to know!

    • KarmaFree Cooking August 3, 2012 at 6:29 am #

      easy… isn’t it????? you need to make it yourself now!!! Madelyn.

  5. Adriana Martin (@AsBestRecipes) August 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    This reminds me of my childhood nice post!

  6. APaulished August 3, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    Yumm I LOVE Dulce de Leche!! (aka “Arequipe” in Colombia)– I wrote about it in my blog a while back 🙂 http://www.therantinglatina.com/2012/06/arequipe-colombian-staple.html

  7. Nina August 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    love dulce de leche! i have it on toast with a glass of milk, or on ice cream..mmmm que rico hehehe..sometimes i take a plain vanilla cookie, and put a bit of dulce de leche ontop and freeze it..hhheheheh

  8. Maria August 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    This looks amazing!! I love dulce de leche as a topping or garnish. yummy!!

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