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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dulce de Leche

I have always wonder what dulce de leche is or why is it called such name.  I've found out that the term means "caramelised milk" and has its origin in Spain which means, it is one of the dishes that Filipinos learned during the time of the Spanish conquistadores.  As the name suggests, the process is to caramelise milk --- condensed milk to be particular, until it becomes really sticky and thick and a bit brown in colour.  The consistency should be really thick if you want to use it as a spread to your bread or a little less thicker to make it pourable when you want to use it as frosting to your cake.

There are 3 ways to caramelise condensed milk.

Microwave
Pour the condensed milk in a microwave heated proof glass.
Caramelise the condensed milk in medium high heat level until it becomes thick.
Make sure that you always check and stir the milk (every 3 minutes).
**It's a little difficult to caramelise milk in this method.  I've found it more exhausting than doing it over the stove.  You would not get the brownish colour in this way.  You have to be very careful in this method since microwaves of different brands don't really have the same level of heat produced.  I also hate finding the milk overflowing in the microwave.  Needless to say, I don't recommend this one.

Stove Top - Pot Method
If you have done the sugar caramelisation before, this process is similar to that.  Only this time, there is no water and sugar involved but just condensed milk.
Pour the milk in a non stick heavy pot.
Use low fire in carameling milk.  Stir continuously using a wooden spoon until the milk becomes thick and brownish in colour.
***You really have to stir this non - stop from prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom and to prevent from making curdles.

Stove Top - Boiling Method
Make two small holes across each other on the top of the tin milk.  Remove any milk that's coming out on the tin top.
Put the tin in the middle of  a heavy pot.  Pour in water in the pot just until 1 inch of the tin is above it.
Boil for 4 - 6 hours on medium fire.
***Make sure that you remove the paper label of the tin milk before you do this method.  Add a bit of water when some of it have evaporated.  If you hate the rattling sound of the tin in the pot like I do, put a small tea towel or face towel under the tin.
Scoop out the milk that's coming out.

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