How to Make Your Own Dulce de Leche

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Making your own dulce de leche at home is easier than you think
Cocoa Pebbles Churros

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How to Make Your Own Dulce de Leche

How to Make Your Own Dulce de Leche

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Dulce de leche — the name is Spanish for "sweet from [made of] milk" — is a thick, creamy caramel sauce that is traditionally prepared by slowly cooking milk and sugar on low heat for serval hours. According to Alton Brown, “Dulce de leche most likely evolved as a way to preserve milk in the pre-refrigerator era.” 

You can make the caramel sauce from scratch by using milk and sugar, or you can cut a few corners and use a can of sweetened condensed milk. Both methods yield a delicious and thick Hispanic-style caramel sauce.

Use your homemade dulce de leche as a dipping sauce, turn the sauce into a chewy lollipops, or add it to cakes or French toast

Making Dulce De Leche From Scratch

Making Dulce De Leche From Scratch

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When you’re making dulce de leche from scratch you only need a few key ingredients: 1 quart of whole milk, 1 cup of sugar, 1 split vanilla bean, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda (optional). 

Making Dulce De Leche (Instructions)

Making Dulce De Leche (Instructions)

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To make the dulche de leche combine all of the ingredients expect the baking soda in a medium sized saucepan over high heat. Stir the mixture until all of the sugar has dissolved. Take the mixture off of the heat then stir in the baking soda. The baking soda is not mandatory, but it ensures a smoother caramel when it’s done.

Mix everything until it is combined and place the saucepan back on medium heat. You want the milk to form small bubbles and not boil over.

Let the milk mixture boil for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The color will begin to go from white to tan in about an hour and then darken at a quicker pace. Once it has turned tan make sure to keep an eye on it so you won’t burn the caramel.

Once the dulce de leche has reached your desired color take it off the heat and let it cool slightly. Then it is ready to be used for your brunch and dessert needs. 

How To Make Dulce de Leche From a Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

How To Make Dulce de Leche From a Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

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All of you need to make dulce de leche from a can is a can of sweetened consented milk and water. You can make multiple cans of dulce de leche at the same time.

How To Make Dulce De Leche From A Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (Instructions)

How To Make Dulce De Leche From A Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (Instructions)

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To make the dulce de leche: peel off the label of the sweetened condensed milk cans, then place the unopened can in a pot. Add enough water to cover the can and bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low. While the water is simmering, make sure that there is always enough water to cover the can; if there isn’t, add more water. Let the can simmer in the pot for 1 ½ hour.

Use tongs to turn the can and simmer it for another hour. After this, turn off the heat and let the can come to room temperature, still sitting in the water. Once the can has cooled completely, open it with a can opener.

Now that you have your dulce de leche, here are a few recipes to put your delicious caramel sauce to good use.

Cocoa Pebbles Churros

Cocoa Pebbles Churros

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Churros are a traditional Spanish fried dessert coated in cinnamon-sugar, that are similar to doughnuts. Serve this chocolatey take on the classic dish with a warm dulce de leche dipping sauce. — Post Foods

For the Coca Pebbles Churros recipe, click here.

Dulce de Leche French Toast

Dulce de Leche French Toast

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This dulce de leche French toast is the perfect entrée for a "beerunch," says Chris Wade, executive chef at Public House in San Francisco's AT&T Park stadium. "The French toast works well with an amber-style lager such as the Vienna Lager we served at Beerunch.”

For the Dulce de Leche French Toast recipe, click here.

Dulce de Leche Swirl Lollipops

Dulce de Leche Swirl Lollipops

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"You can replace the dulce de leche with Nutellachocolate, or basically anything that can be piped. Since these lollipops take a bit of coordination, pour out the lollipop mixture a little at a time and keep the remainder in the saucepan for easy preheating.” — Anita Chu, author of Lollipop Love

For Dulce de Leche Swirl Lollipops recipe, click here.

Mocha-Walnut Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting

Mocha-Walnut Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting

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Unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and instant espresso powder give these cupcakes a deep, rich flavor that is complemented perfectly by the dulce de leche frosting. Dulche de leche is a caramel flavor widely used in Latin American cuisine. Both the cupcakes and the frosting can be made a couple of days in advance and assembled shortly before serving. — Carole Bloom 

For the Mocha-Walnut Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting recipe, click here.