Dulce de leche or in Portuguese known as “doce de leite” is a confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from the caramelisation of the product, changing flavor and color. When “Literally” translated, it means “candy of milk” or “candy [made] of milk”, “milk candy”, or “milk jam”.
It is famous in South America, particularly in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. Also in Chile and Ecuador where it is known as manjar (Spanish for delicacy). In Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, it is known as manjar blanco or arequipe, depending on regional variations. In Brazil, it is also referred as its Portuguese name “doce de leite”. In El Salvador the dulce de leche has a soft, crumbly texture, with an almost crystallized form. In Mexico their version is called “cajeta” which is made from goat’s milk. In the Dominican Republic it is made with equal parts milk and sugar with cinnamon, and the texture is more like fudge. In Puerto Rico, dulce de leche is sometimes made with unsweetened coconut milk.
In French recipe it is otherwise known as “confiture de lait”, and is very similar to the spreadable forms of dulce de leche. A Norwegian version, Hamar-pålegg (“Hamar spread”), better known as HaPå, is a commercial variant that is thicker but less sweet. In the Philippines, we also call it Dulce de Leche but abbreviated it to “DDL” for short.
Frequently Asked Question:
What are the ways I can make Dulce De Leche?
- Cook in can using Gas stove (in can)
- Cook it in double broiler (without the can)
- Cook it in Pressure cooker (Using jars)
- Cook it in Slow cooker (Using jars)
Is there a way to cook Dulce De Leche without boiling the can?
Boiling the can however is not your last option to cook Dulce De leche. You may also cook it in a double broiler. In a pot of boiling water, place another small pot on top of it (make sure the water is not touching the base.) Pour in condensed milk, stir and cook over low heat until it becomes thick and caramel in color.
Is there a faster way to cook Dulce de Leche?
Yes, you can cook it in pressure cooker for about 40 minutes. However, if you have a Slow cooker, you can cook it for 9-11 hours. (See Recipe at the bottom for using Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker).
Suggested Brands of Condensed Milk good for making Dulce de Leche: Doreen Condensed Milk, Jersey Choco, Milkmaid, Alaska Condensed Milk yellow label,
Dulce de Leche Recipe #1
1 can of sweetened condensed milk – label removed (Suggested: Alaska -Yellow Label or Milkmaid Brand)
- Place the can in the pot (pahiga or puwede rin patayo) in a large pot (Malaking kaserola).
Fill the pot with room-temperature water, making sure the water level is at least 5 cm above the can.
- Set pot over high heat and allow to come to a boil. (Start the timer when the water starts to boil.) Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours for a lighter caramel, and up to 3 hours for a darker caramel.
- Note: If you are planning to boil 10+ cans in a bigger pot, you need to adjust cooking time up to 6 hours. For bulk cooking and to save gas, it is suggested to use wood style cooking or pagsisiga.
- Check the pot every 30 minutes to ensure the water level stays above the can, adding boiling water as necessary to top it up.
- Using a pair of tongs, remove the can from the water and set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature before opening.
- If using a pressure cooker, it only takes 45 minutes to boil it once it started whistling. But make sure you know the precautionary measure of using the pressure cooker. Let it cool after cooking, transfer in sink and splash water on top of the lid before opening the pressured lid.
IMPORTANT – Do Not attempt to open the can while still hot, which can cause pressurized hot caramel to spray dangerously! Palamigin muna maigi bago ito buksan. Mas lalapot at magiging firm ang consistency nito kapag napalamig na sa room temperature.
To use Dulce de Leche:
Open the can of Dulce de leche once cooled down and scoop it out of can. Transfer into a clean bottle or container with lid.
Reheat in a double boiler if too firm to soften dulce de leche to a spreadable or drizzle-able consistency.
Dulce De Leche Life Span and Storage:
*Unopened cans of dulce de leche can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months.
*Dulce de leche can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.
*Bottled Dulce de Leche (Room Temperature): 1 week only
So if you are going to sell it, make sure na lahat ng gagawin mong Dulce de Leche will be sold out right away after you re-bottle it. Sell it fresh on the day you make it and advice customer to refrigerate it.
Dulce de Leche Recipe #2 (Pressure Cooker/Slow Cooker)
2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz
3 half-pint wide-mouth canning Mason jars
- Transfer the Sweetened Condensed Milk evenly into three small wide mouth Mason jars
- Cover the jars and tighten the lids.
For Pressure Cooker:
- Add a wire rack (Trivet/bracket stand) into the Pressure Cooker pot. Place Jars on the wire rack.
- Fill Pressure Cooker with water to 1/2 inch below the rim of the Jars.
- Cover cooker with the lid, lock and close with Pressure Valve.
- Let it cook over High Pressure for about 40 minutes.
- When a beep sounds, turn off heat and just let it stand for 30 minutes. (Allow a full Natural Pressure Release and just let it be).
- Carefully remove jars and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Remove rings on the side and after 15 minutes, remove cover and stir. Cover it back and just let it stand to cool. Refrigerate once cool.
For Slow Cooker:
- Position the jars in a Slow Cooker and add water to at least one inch above the jars.
- Slow cook on LOW for about 9 to 11 hours. Check it after 9 hours and see if you achieve the color of the dulce de leche.
- Very carefully remove the jars in the Slow Cooker and transfer into a cooling rack. Remove the rings on the jars and just leave it undisturbed. Let it cool and transfer in the fridge after.
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Credits: Nicola from Fiumicino (Rome), Italy